Why should we have good habits?

When Forrest Gump was walking with his friend Jenny, with braces on his legs, some kids started bullying him and calling him names. So Jenny told him “Run, Forrest, Run” and those three words made him run fast and quick, without thinking about his disabilities, and thus he was able to overcome them, and be one of the fastest kids around.  Forrest wasn’t the smartest kid in his town, and with a very low IQ, but he had a unique character that many of us lack, due to his learning disabilities probably, and that he never cared or paid attention to the way other’ saw him or his disabilities, and also due to his mother’s constant words of affirmation that he is no different than any other kid, he did not know that he had limitations, and that whenever he felt passionate about something he just did it, without a care in the world. In this masterpiece classic, “Forrest Gump” played by Tom Hanks, Forrest reached great heights and achieved things many of us would only dream of, despite his disabilities, which worked in his favor.  Some say because he was not aware that he had disabilities, and this made him believe that he can do whatever he wants.

The mind shift, or paradigm shift as Stephen Covey called it, works like charm when applied properly. When your mind is convinced that you are able to do something or that it is doable, your whole body, your attitude & habits will work with you to achieve it, and do all what is needed, mentally or physically. Ironically, if you believe you cannot do something, it will be stamped into your subconscious and you will never be able to do it, even if you try.  I saw an #impact_theory video recently where Trevor Mowad, CEO of Limitless Minds, was a guest on Tom Bilyeu’s show, and he shared an inspiring story about a young man who was a loser and always misses class and fails his exams, and one day he had to take the SAT test and got a very high score that made him change his life of a loser into a successful person and thus achieved amazing outcomes throughout his life. This same person who got the high score, found out many years later that his score was a mistake and that he actually got a very low score on his SAT. However, that mistake made him believe that he is capable of success and therefore he adapted the habits and lifestyle of a successful young man, and that made all the difference.

The secret of achieving great results of reaping our dreams is not only by having clear goals and objectives to follow them, but it has much more to do with the system/process/lifestyle we have in place in order to achieve those goals.  Many of us heard that successful people wake up early and sleep early, and that they use their morning hours for their personal growth activities. Between working out, meditating, reading and preparing their day, and that makes all the difference. Those individuals wake up around 5am everyday to practice these rituals, as they find that their minds are at its calmest and clearest and thus they are able to practice all their rituals and focus on what they want to achieve without any distractions. 

When you dig deeper into the concept and the added value of being an early bird, you will realize that is not just about shifting your whole day a few hours earlier than everyone one else, or the clarity of your mind alone. It is rather more about taking control of your time and having more time management and more importantly having a system in place to practice those habits or rituals.

Of course if you are not an early bird already then adapting into such habit is not as easy, and while you might know and understand that rewards that you might win from waking up early and performing those morning rituals, you still cannot shift your alarm from 7am to 5am. You might do it for a day or two but then it you will get tired or lazy and skip and go back to 7am.  What was the mistake here? Well, for one, you were too focused on reaping the outcomes of the waking up early too soon, and less of focused on adapting the new habit of waking up early. You need to master that habit with small, gradual and consistent mini habits, and then once the cross the threshold of learning/adapting the new habit, you will start to see the difference exponentially. I read an interesting book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, that teaches you how to adapt into new good habits and get rid of bad ones. The books says that a system or a process is made of a set of habits, and once you master those habits, you have your system in place and whatever goals you had in mind would be a normal outcome of that system.  Habits creation or change is always about focusing on what you wish to become and NOT about what you want to achieve, hence it’s an identity focus.  It also talks about four main laws that you need to apply in order to adapt into new habits, here they are in short; 

  1. Make it Obvious – design your environment so that your cues for habits triggers are clear and obvious
  2. Make it Attractive – pair an action you need with an action you desire, and create motivational rituals
  3. Make it Easy – reduce the number of steps to apply between you and your new habit
  4. Make it Satisfying – link it to a reward that makes you look forward to doing the habit

In conclusion, it’s all about the mindset and your self-awareness, and how much will power you have in order to adapt and change to the better version of yourself. Remember, it’s not about how many days or weeks you have to practice the habit, rather it’s about the repetitions, so you need to repeat it long enough to cross the threshold for it to be a mindless habit. Mindless habits make over 40% of our day, so the more good habits we have in place the better our days and lives would be. I will leave you with a quote by Henry Ford “whether you think you can, or you can’t, you are right.”

More Posts

Brain Wiring

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is

The Big 50

I turned fifty this April, “The Big 50”, as one of my

Talk to me