Folks, let’s get right into it. I’m truly excited to share this post with you today, because it came to me from what my eyes could see, what my ears could hear, and what my mind could comprehend. I didn’t intend to come from this direction; but sometimes, something so relevant and time-sensitive forcefully presents itself to you, stares you straight in the eyeballs, and provides you with that wake-up call you might need at a particular moment or time in your life.
And that’s what happened to me yesterday. I came across a piece of paper with such a poignant combination of words that stated exactly what I needed to be reminded of yesterday, today, and going forward into infinity. And I wanted to share it with you right away, because I’m feeling this wake-up call with every fiber of my being. Who knows? It could quite possibly speak to where you are in your life as well.
Get this, though. This wake-up call — reminder — call to action initially came in the form of a poem. And here’s what the poem on that piece of paper says:
“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 being. You may run me for a profit or turn me for ruin — it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train 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.”
I truly wish I could give credit to whoever wrote what you just read, but I can’t. The only clue the paper gave me about the author was “Anonymous“. On this same piece of paper (immediately following the Habit poem), you’ll see the following quote from Aristotle, which reads as follows: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a Habit.”
Habit actually reads like a riddle. True to life or not? What’s your opinion? Well, I’m of the opinion that it’s spot on, regarding the lives we live, and refers to the repetitive actions (productive or destructive) we consistently take on.
You know — lately, I’ve been on this “Healthy Habits” kick. And if you have no idea of what I’m referring to, you can catch up on my thoughts on the matter and the chronicling of my goal-setting journey to reach a healthy state of overall well-being by checking out my last several weeks of Friday posts, especially the “Goal Set With Me” posts. (The context there will bring more understanding to what I’m relaying to you today.)
But honestly, when I read Habit the other day, it hit me more from the perspective of a content creator. And, then this perspective was solidified even more so when I watched a YouTube video from an individual known for her expertise on running handmade businesses and navigating throughout Etsy. Here’s a little taste of something she stated that really stuck with me on where I’m at with my business journey. (Boy, do I have a lot of journeys I’m going through simultaneously!) She stated:
“The mindset that you need to be in when you enter the growth state is one of consistency. Consistency can only happen over time. You can’t get the results that come from consistency without doing the work consistently.“
“Consistency is the hardest part of building a business. Keeping at it when you don’t get instant gratification is so freakin’ hard. We, human beings, have brains that crave instant gratification. It’s hard to see the longer, bigger picture gain. But, this is really where everything plays out.”
So in combining what she said with what I read in Habits, it became clearly apparent that the victory is in repeating those behaviors that will lead you to victory . . . success . . . your end goal, even if you’re not immediately or currently seeing noticeable results. I’m learning that the results will come if I continue on a healthy path and do something productive on that path every day. The key words here are REPETITION, CONSISTENCY, and DEDICATION.
I know full well what they mean and none of what I’m stating in this blog post is a mystery hidden in plain sight. It’s information that the masses are privy to. And since that’s the case, why don’t we consistently repeat those habits that are going to get us to where we want to be in life? Why is being consistent so incredibly hard?
Well, I can think of a plethora of answers to that question that personally apply to me. There are too many to number and I wouldn’t dare extend this blog post with all of them. But, the obvious reaction to such a realization would be to remove those obstacles that prevent me (us) from continuing to practice the healthy habits that lead to our happiness and sense of achievement. Don’t you think?
So, will you walk on the dark side or walk toward the light? Draw your line in the sand and let this day be the day you CHOOSE YOUR SIDE. The side you choose determines the habits you adopt (or vice versa, really). Be careful with this decision, folks. You’ll own every bit of it, and it’ll play out in your everyday existence. Remember: your habits can result in happiness or misery, health or sickness, success or failure, life or death. YOU decide.