Psssst….I’ve got something to tell you and it’s something really juicy. Have you ever wondered the secret to success? Have you ever asked yourself, why you can’t seem to get ahead or accomplish all your goals and dreams? Well have I got great news for you. I’ve found the secret….well actually, as it turns out; it’s not really a secret. The answer that you’ve been searching for is something so simple that we often times overlook it. As a matter of fact, we actually do it every day and have been doing it our entire lives just about. Are you ready to find out the secret (answer) to success?
Drum roll please……
The secret to success is called “A Habit”. That’s it….that’s the secret. Did that answer surprise you? It often surprises most people because the answer is so simple, but yet so powerful. So exactly what is a habit? According to the Bing dictionary, a habit is a regularly repeated behavior pattern: an action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody, although he or she may be unaware of it.
To me, a habit is like a law or a force of nature. You are constantly forming one, even when you’re not aware of it. It’s got a mind of its own. A habit is not to be taken lightly… it can work for you or against you.
Let me give you some example of some good and bad habits.
From my observation, bad habits seem to be easier to form than good habits. Don’t ask me why…it’s just that way. We always seem to take the path of least resistance. Bad habits seem insignificant at first but overtime they can do a lot of damage. For example, smoking one or two cigarettes a day; or eating a hamburger and fries every day can lead to major health problems down the road. You don’t notice or realize what you’re doing to your body because you don’t see any immediate negative results…it’s gradual. What about using credit cards to band-aid a spending problem? You charge a little bit here and there but over time, if you don’t stop using the cards and cut them up, you’ll turn around one day and realize you have amassed a huge credit card bill and won’t even remember what all you purchased to begin with. That’s a bad habit at work most definitely and unfortunately, we’re all victims of bad habits but there’s hope.
The great thing about habits is that it can work for us in a good way. As matter-of-fact, most bad habits, with some effort, can be replaced with good habits or eventually eliminated all together. However, most people give up or fall off the bandwagon on the way to forming good habits because they become discourage when they don’t see immediate results. A good habit, just like success, really takes effort in the beginning but definitely pay off in the long-run. No one said that success was an overnight thing…that’s not realistic. Something worth anything takes hard work, discipline and most of all patience. For example, exercising everyday or at least three times a week is a good habit that can affect our health in a positive way. We won’t see the results overnight but if we keep at it, on a continuous basis, eventually we will see our health improve. Or better yet, how about saving money for retirement? We sock a little bit away every month in a 401k or ROTH. We don’t really see a lot of growth in the beginning but overtime, if we keep at it, our good efforts pay off and we are able to live in retirement very comfortably. The awesome thing about forming a good habit is that once you harness its power, it will eventually go on auto pilot and will become like second nature to you. In other words, once you master a good habit, that’s really when you’ll begin to experience the returns of your efforts compounded.
Ways to build good habits
- Set positive goals
- Become discipline and practice patience
- Get an accountability partner
- Surround yourself around like-minded positive people
- Concentrate and engage your mind with positive thoughts and personal development
- Gradually eliminate bad habits
Success IS obtainable if you’re willing to do what it takes to get there. Forming good habits combined with discipline and patience is really the key but don’t underestimate its power. If you don’t respect it, it will defeat you. As Jeff Olson, the author of the Slight Edge would say….”It’s easy to do but it’s also easy NOT to do. Let’s face it we all have some bad habits that we need to eliminate but that doesn’t mean we have to live defeated lives…success is available to anyone who accepts the challenge.
As I end, I’ll leave you with this powerful poem:
I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed –
you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people;
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great,
I have made great.
Those who are failures,
I have made failures.
I am not a machine,
though I work with all the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a human.
You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin –
it makes no difference to me.
be firm with me,
And I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me,
and I will destroy you.
WHO AM I?
I AM HABIT.
Author – Unknown
Tell me about some good habits you are forming to obtain success?