Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” -- Mahatma Gandhi
How many failed attempts to change have you suffered?
Don’t answer that.
We’ve all been there.
But the truth of the matter is that if you want to effect change in your life or the world in which you operate then you have to develop rock solid (new) habits.
I’ve written extensively about the power of habits. In a sense there’s nothing remarkable about rising today and doing something different to yesterday, even if you only make the smallest change -- think about Sky’s success in cycling: it’s premised on the law of marginal not stratospheric gains.
That’s the easy bit.
The hard bit: getting up the next day and doing it all over again...and the next.
I suppose you need know, in typical Covey speak, that you won’t end up with your proverbial life ladder leaning against the wrong wall. Actually, I think that’s the easy bit -- you know what’s getting in the way of growing into your full self, but you’re simply not doing it.
If I take something as ‘simple’ as diet, i.e. the food we choose to eat, I wonder if you could change your habits to eat less of one thing and more of something else? I would hope so...if only because judging by the worldwide levels of obesity there’s a good argument to say that if we don’t we’ll end up shortening our lives, which seems curious given that we’ve invested so much of the world’s resources trying to extend life from where we were at the turn of the last century.
Or what about exercise? As a society, no matter our age, we should all be taking more exercise by dint of the fact that so many of us now work in an office. It’s not a case of not liking it but rather it may just help keep us alive. (Just imagine if you walked 50 additional steps every day, how that would add up over the course of the year. And you may just find that you ended up pushing yourself to do something even more extreme.)
I suppose what I’m really getting at is that no matter your circumstances, our habits are everything. Change those, even in small daily doses, and everything else changes.