Recently, my iPad needed to be charging overnight and since I didn’t want to arise to go plug it in across the room after I finished reading a few chapters on my Kindle app, I just unplugged my bedside lamp and plugged in the charger there. So now all I needed to do was place my iPad on the bedside table and rollover when done. After a few minutes, my eyelids were getting pretty heavy so I closed the iPad, placed it on the bedside table and reached up to turn off the unplugged and dark lamp!!! Why did I do this? Habit! For decades now I have read before going to bed and the steps taken after eyelids have started drooping is to place book on table and turn off light. So, despite the darkened room, I still reached up to “turn off” the light.
This riddle, that I originally read in Hyrum Smith’s book, 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management, most aptly describes the power of a habit.
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 I do you might 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 individuals 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 profit or run 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.
Habits can be our friends and they can so be our foes. What habits do you need to stop doing or start doing? The answers to this question can change ours lives!
I was going to do a Part 2 of how to form new habits but in the process of searching for a "habit" image (which I never found) I ran across this blog that is better than what I would have written. Check it out if you are ready to form new habits!