Daily Touch of Inspirations
October 19th: Good habits drive out bad habits
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
When a dog is barking loudly because someone is at the door, the worst thing you can do is yell. To the dog, it's like you're barking too! When a dog is running away, it's not helpful to chase it — again, now it's like you're both running. A better option in both scenarios is to give the dog something else to do. Tell it to sit. Tell it to go to its bed or kennel. Break the pattern, interrupt the negative impulse.
The same goes for us. When a bad habit reveals itself, counteract it with a commitment to a contrary virtue. For instance, let's say you find yourself procrastinating today — don't dig in and fight it. Get up and take a walk to clear your head and reset instead. If you find yourself saying something negative or nasty, don't kick yourself. Add something positive and nice to qualify the remark.
Oppose established habits, and use the counterforce of training to get traction and make progress. If you find yourself cutting corners during a workout or on a project, say to yourself: "Ok, now I am going to go even further or do even better."
Good habits have the power to drive out bad habits. And habits are easy to pick up — as we all know.