Habits: They Make Us or Break Us

We often don’t realize how big a role habits play in our lives. From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, almost all our activities are habits. The three meals a day, the reading time, the office time, the school time, the chores time, doing the dishes (or avoiding doing them very cleverly); it’s all a part of the daily routine we’ve unconsciously set for ourselves. It’s all a part of the series of habits we make ourselves repeat everyday of our lives.

Often, we don’t even realize that it’s our habits driving us. And even when we do, we don’t realize that there is at least that one habit which is keeping us from who we want to be. It is important to realize these very minute details of our lives. It is important to think things through before we turn a particular action into a habit.

As teenagers, the thing that is on our minds most of the times is effective time management. We either have too much to do on a single day, or too little to do in our entire lives. The later is somewhat outdated. Kids these days are so much more active than kids in the eighteenth century. Teenagers today, all over the world, struggle to manage their lives in the middle of a life governed by school, friends, possibly a job, and not to mention family. There are the grades they need to worry about. And then there’s the hangout they planned with their friends. There is their mother constantly asking for better performance and the father grounding them for unsatisfactory behavior.

Reacting violently to these things is one way to tackle it. But that isn’t very effective, Because, once you’re done reacting, your parents are angrier, you’ll probably be grounded for another month, plus they are going to cut down your pocket money. Instead, try and listen to them. Try to understand them, what they want.

Do I sound like the age old councilor? I probably do. But, please hear me out. It’s probably the only way you’ll have a good relationship with your parents. If you don’t want that then I have nothing to say.

Assuming that you do want that, though, and I have lot more to say.

An English poet once said, “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.”

I think you’re getting where I’m coming from. Or not. Basically, we have to endorse habits which are meant to be effective, and then, these habits are going to make our lives effective.

Thank you! Now I know what to do with my life! But wait. How do I know which habits are effective?

Well, writers from Franklin Covey Co have made it easy for us. They wrote whole books about these habits. Habits for teens, for people, principles, journals, everything. This blog post was really inspired by Sean Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”. You think I’m crazy? Go ahead.

Here are the seven habits of defective people, as listed at the beginning of the book”

  1. React
  2. Begin with no end in mind
  3. Put first things last
  4. Think win-lose
  5. Seek first to talk and then pretend to listen
  6. Don’t cooperate
  7. Wear yourself out

And the habits of effective people are just the opposite:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw
The 7 Habits
The 7 Habits

I will go into elaborating them soon, in the next few blog posts. I can think of so many real life scenarios where this book helps so much. It’s like your handbook effectiveness.

Till then, why don’t we all think about it? Habits, their importance in our lives, the habits that can actually make a difference. Think about it. And, by the way, even though I’ve only talked about teens, this blog post actually relates to people of all ages.

I end it here today with a quote from the beginning of the book:

Who am I?

I am your constant companion. I am
your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down
to failure. I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do you might just as
well turn over to me and I will be able to do
them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed—you must merely
be firm with me. Show me exactly how you
want something done and after a few
lessons I will do it automatically. I am the
servant of all great individuals and, alas, of
all failures, as well. Those who are great, I
have made great. Those who are failures,
I have made failures.

I am not a machine, though I work
with all the precision of a machine plus
the intelligence of a human. You may run
me for a profit or run me for ruin—it
makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me,
and I will place the world at your feet. Be
easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am Habit.

 This article was reblogged to selfsurge.com

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