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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Do You Choose Your Habits?


Consider the care with which we choose our clothes, our cars, our hairstylist, the cologne we use, the watch we wear, our mobile phone, and yes, the restaurants or clubs we frequent. Consider also - if it applies - the care with which you choose your wine, the paintings or rugs that adorn your home, and the destinations at which you vacation.

And why wouldn't you? Choosing with care shows that you enjoy living in aesthetically pleasing surroundings, or dressing yourself as well as your pocketbook will allow you.

Now let's examine what do we do with our habits. Certainly we only rarely choose them with care. Generally speaking, our habits are formed long before we think about them consciously (if ever) and so we continue with them without considering whether they embellish us or not.

What do I mean by habits that embellish? Simply that by having and maintaining such habits, they serve us well, as opposed to blindly leading us to places we might not wish to frequent. Here are some examples:
  • a habit of having bread with every meal may cause the pounds to creep up on you and before you know it, you find yourself in a place where it is very difficult to stop the habit, and yet if you continue with it, you will need a new wardrobe (to say the least)
  • a habit of not listening when others speak to you because you are busy thinking about your answer, may cause you to do less well than you would like in your professional environment and in your personal sphere may eventually cause you to lose your partner or spouse
  • a habit of watching 3 hours of TV every evening may have numerous results including unwanted weight piling up due to being such a couch potato, and brain cells losing their strength due to not being used, other than in this passive way
  • a habit of judging others (even if only in your mind), may cause you to never see the real person behind whatever it is that you are judging
  • a habit of blaming others for whatever you are unable to do perfectly yourself may cause you to never learn to take responsibility for yourself
  • a habit of giving in to others' manipulations may cause you to lead a life filled with bitterness and resentment due to never learning to say no and continuing with those unhealthy boundaries
  • a habit of demanding perfection from yourself may cause you to live a deeply unhappy life because you will find it nearly impossible to live up to those unattainable standards that you have set for yourself because you do not love yourself in healthy ways that would allow you to accept yourself as you grow towards goals as opposed to demanding achievement of those goals now
Your habits determine - to a large degree - the quality of your life. Choose them well, and if - when they were formed - you were not yet aware enough to choose, now, that you are more aware, take them under a microscope, examine them, and begin to discard those that do not serve your highest good.

Image: Maiden's Head in Profile by Georg Klimt

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