How to Create Habits
To run a successful life, to run a successful organization, we really have to develop very powerful, healthy, lifetime habits, habits of success. What’s wonderful now is, we have so many amazing books that are written by so many great, you know, achievers who have shared so many ways and so many powerful methods of attainment, of success, of habits. There’s habits of waking up in the morning that you can cultivate. I’m sure some of you’ve heard about them. There’s habits of exercise, of course, that we all know about. There’s habits of relationship that perhaps we all can cultivate and foster.
So, there are many, many habits, and many of us – and I know my experience is quite often, sometimes I feel, “Ah!”. As I read these books, as I listen to these lectures, as I receive these wisdoms from other successful entrepreneurs and leaders, how am I going to implement and take on, even more, and more, and more, and more of these habits?
Well, before we go into, how do we take on more habits, how we implement and bring in more habits, I want to go a little deeper than that. Because, if I give you a string of 10 habits to take on today, some of them you might take on, some of them you might go, “I’ve heard these before.” Some of them you might go, “I’ll try this a little bit and take that on.” But at the end of the day, it’ll sort of peter out.
So how do we have a habit that stands the test of time?
How do we generate a habit that’s sourced, not in temporary highs and lows, and feel-good experiences?
How do we create habits that propel us forward for the rest of our life?
First, my friend, what I’ve discovered, number one: we’ve got to look around, and we’ve got to feel inside of ourselves. And we’ve got to get to a place within ourselves, where we’re feeling for, “Where am I dissatisfied?” “Where am I hurting?” “Where am I hurting in my business?” “What beliefs, ideas, do I have right now, inside myself, that are causing me suffering, overwhelmed, tension?” I would only want to create benefits of habits for a particular reason, to improve some area of my life.
When we take our habits, and we try to implement them, as we do at the beginning of a new year, and such, during all these type of phases of our life, where we say, “Okay. New Year’s resolution, I’m going to start these habits.” They peter out because they’re not sourced in your suffering. They’re sourced in idealized, romanticized visions of what can be.
If you want one to last for a long time, take a look inside and see, what’s it costing you to remain totally where you’re at, what’s it costing you in your heart, in your body, in your soul, in your spirit, to stay psychologically, spiritually stagnant perhaps, to remain here. What’s it costing you in business, in hard dollars, yourself personally, your organization in a larger way? What’s it costing the fact that you have challenges that are not being looked at?
Sufferings inside yourself, psychological twists and turns, repressions, things that you’ve stuffed down, things that you avoid, like your body or relationships, things that you’ll relegate to the future. When I’m free enough, when I have enough time freedom, enough money freedom, then I’ll be able to do that. We have a lot of that type of interference pattern going on within ourselves.
I’m going to invite you to just feel for that right now.
There’s a hole in your body. What are the emotions, the feelings? What’s the body sensations that go along with your contractors? What images do you have in your mind? The thoughts do you have in your mind?
Now, having felt all of this, and knowing what it’s costing you, truly, in everything, do you have an answer? Can you answer for yourself to yourself? Because that’s the only one that really matters to. So, when we confess what we’re losing out on in life personally, professionally, in our success, we allow ourselves to feel the lack of it. Any parts of us that have been faking, or walling off any discontent, any boredom, apathy, fear, any of it, any part of us that’s walled ourselves off from it, let’s feel all of that.
Because that’s the route.
That soreness, that tenderness, that depth of vulnerability, that’s the seed, where we plant our habits, to move us out of that. And those habits that we wish to form, when they’re planted, not out of superficial high of a New Year’s resolution, or a drummed up affirmation because you’re down in a moment. But the choices of now, today. I’m very sober with my body, my high blood pressure – phew – cholesterol. I know what I need to do. When you allow yourself to feel perhaps that on a body level, like I’ve had to experience, and some leaders I’ve had to mentor, where we actually get really honest. Now, having felt that low, and the cost of it in our life, now, “Okay. I’m ready to start today.” This morning, we’re going to have a smoothie, and let go of the bacon and eggs, toast and butter. Today, I’m going to have a super smoothie. I’m going to start with that, and I’m going to make my habit every single day, to have that as my breakfast. A change, a variety, and smoothie is as an example. But, there, you have it.
Now, that new habit is sourced and grounded in the sobriety of the truth of where you’re truly at, rather than the exuberance of where you want to be. This sober rooting in your discontent, or your dissatisfaction, or perhaps a real challenge, use that as the source and the fuel, to fuel your steps forward.
Now, once you’ve made the first step, now start thinking. Instead of being a dash runner, instead of going for that 100m fast dash, I want to be like a train on a track, coming out slow but steady. Slow but steady.
Building steam, building steam every single day. See yourself as a heavy train, with the new habit that you wish to have. Physical, mental habit of reading the next amount of pages per day. An emotional habit of clearing out your emotions at the end of your work day, by dancing, by running, by jogging, by hitting a bag, so that, when you come home to meet your family, you’re fresh, you have less stress of the day. Now, your presence is there, as a compassionate being, loving with your beloveds. There is a very powerful, everyday practice you can take on, but have that sourced in the suffering that’s there.
So, in essence, find the suffering that’s at the root of any type of denial. Feel it fully. Find the true, passionate action, the true action, the true habit that you know needs to be taken. Not a hundred, one true action. Do that one, and then put yourself on the train. And think, we are going across the country, we’re not going to the next-door neighbours, we’re not going to the mall or Plaza, we’re not going on vacation, we’re going across the country. And we’re building a nation through this one habit. That one habit that you bring forth, like a train steady, sourced in your discontent and sobriety, will bring you ultimately freedom.
Ultimately, that will open up and expand the place that you sourced from, and that too will be transformed. Because the power of the train of your habit, just knowing that you are doing that daily, starting today, doing it tomorrow, the day after – this is where ultimate confidence comes from. It’s your belief in your own follow through, follow through.