As a continuation to the PART 1 of this article, let me start with creating a habit. I am by far a disciplined person on a regular basis but not very much and I do have my weaknesses too. A habit is one thing which allows you to either make or break your life, to achieve great success or great failure and most of this happens as a result of minor changes that get compounded over time. We have all heard of overnight successes, of people who have created great companies or discovered amazing things; but behind all of these are habits which have been developed over time. A minor habit be it a good one or a bad one at which we are consistent only gets compounded over time.
A person who has the habit of reading everyday for about 15 minutes a day only increases their knowledge in leaps and bounds. Knowledge only get compounded because of associations. On the other hand, a person who does nothing but gets addicted to the habit of watching television gets their dopamine hit (the feel good hormone) and keeps craving for more of it and it too get compounded over time and quite often changes into a couch potato over time. A person who develops one good habit consciously automatically creates many more good habits which leads to a better quality of life on the whole.
Take John and Tom for example, they’ve both been average people with average jobs all their lives, the everyday work from 9 to 5, come home and eat the dinner that the wife has prepared, sit down with a beer, have a bath, watch television and go to sleep and wake up the next day and do the same thing over and over all the time. It becomes a cyclic habit. Now John decides that he needs to make a small change in his life and decides that he will slowly get out of drinking his beer, and now has a beer every alternate day, and then every once a week and then he completely stops, he feels a change in his health and comes home to cook a healthy dinner with his wife to help her out as well. Their relationship improves and only becomes better over time.
On the other hand, Tom starts drinking an additional drink thinking that it’s just one more time and that increases to one more and another and he ends up becoming a lazy alcoholic who is always in front of the television. He is irritated with his job, he is unappreciative to his wife who cooks him good food everyday. He gets irritated with her, she gets angry and leaves him, his health is only worsening by the day and his quality of life suffers overall.
This is but one example of making a small habit and being consistent with it. A good habit not only changes a single facet of your life but affects all others. But a habit is not easy to build no matter what. People who suddenly get up one day and decide that I am going to accomplish something usually fail at it, you see this case at the end of the year where people make resolutions but never keep them up, only to make it again at the end of the year, year after year.
What is more important is to make a decision to make a habit, a small change. For example, I decided to improve my health by working out. I set an alarm which repeats every single day of the week. It reminds me to do 5 push ups every day, then the next week I do 6 and the week after 7 and so on, and then I add more variations, some pull ups , some squats and by the time I realize it, it has become a part of my routine and I can’t make do without doing those exercises and I end up improving my health, my body, my self image, my self confidence.
And all I had to do for this was to just set an alarm every day and just make sure I did those 5 push ups every day (it’s not too difficult to do so much).