You are not your body. But you are living in a body. You are not your mind. But you have a mind. So it’s best to understand how to manage it for best results! And understanding the power of habits can help a lot!
If we didn’t have habits, we’d get up in the morning… or we wouldn’t. Then we’d go to the basin to brush our teeth… or we wouldn’t.
When a 2 year old doesn’t brush his teeth, he’s in a learning mode. But when a 30 year old doesn’t brush his teeth, he has a social problem!
We need habits – healthy habits, that is, because healthy habits set us free!
Healthy habits give us time for higher order thinking. How often have you found yourself planning your day on the drive to work… or thinking through a conversation you want to have with your spouse as you’re on your way home from work… or mentally walking through how to broach an uncomfortable conversation with one of your people at work while you’re taking a shower.
Putting certain repetitive behaviors on automatic while the brain goes on a private vision quest to plan or find solutions to problems is how our body-minds conserve time and energy. If we had to think about every single thing we do every day, there would be no time for higher order thinking – ever!
Instead, we go on auto-pilot every day at some time or other. When our habits kick in, our brain goes on a creative adventure – whether strategizing, visioning, or problem solving. And in this way, automaticity provides for greater creativity.
This isn’t new information. We all know that we should form healthy habits. In fact, most of us know how to make our lives better – more happy and successful. It isn’t that we lack knowledge. It isn’t even that we lack execution.
We decide what we want. We see it. We feel it. We can almost taste it. Notice the ‘almost’. We take a stand for the new vision. We launch the exercise program. We start the diet. We start like a steam engine. We roar ahead with vigor for the vision and then we lose steam.
Most of us don’t quit intentionally.
But when the evidence doesn’t show up quickly enough, when the going gets tough or we aren’t in the mood, we just kind of peter out. When we don’t get the immediate feedback we need our enthusiasm dwindles. Our passion evaporates. And we stop just before the miracle.
So here is the secret that leads to success:
- Take a stand for your vision. Start your exercise program. Or take up the new hobby you’ve been thinking about. Take the first step; do something!
- Do it with no expectation of an immediate result.
- Even when there is no evidence of a change, keep doing it. Know that you are laying new neural pathways in your brain and that it takes time.
- Eventually, the new pathways will become deeply entrenched. And as they do, the old neural pathways will begin to prune themselves from disuse.
- It is then that the evidence will begin to show up.
So what is the difference between mediocrity and brilliance?
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