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Your Greatest Helper or Heaviest Burden?

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 of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them - quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed - you must 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 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 the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.

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.

(author unknown)

We think of habits as negative, as in smoking, nail biting, or opioid addiction.  But what about the positive ones, like good time management, politeness, or prayer?

I was at a business conference this weekend and this poem was used as a reminder about the power of habit, which is, by definition, a recurrent, often unconscious, pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

So, if we know what we want and where we want to go, we can consciously choose to develop healthy habits that will get us there.  Conversely, if we don’t make conscious choices, our habits can fill our time, derail our progress, and steal our dreams.  The tyranny of habit.

Are you where you want to be in life?  If not, maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at your habits.  Which ones might you change, consciously eliminate, or practice and master in order to get where you want to go?

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