On our road to Productivity-Elysium we often find ourselves passing through the dreaded Task-Tartarus, Procrastination-Purgatory and sometimes even Hades-satisfaction…it’s a treacherous road full of challenges and tests that can corrupt even the most focused mind.
It starts from day one, as kids we’re influenced by everything! Our parent’s behaviors, schools, commercials – you name it! Until we reach 20, we amass enough bad habits to hold us back for a lifetime, but luckily our youth and lack of experience plays a vital role in shielding us from the outcomes; by the age of 30, it becomes painfully evident that we’ve got a problem and we start to consider what to do, but lack of time prevents us from dealing with what looks like a growing problem…by the age of 40-50 we accept our fate (and we’re even proud of it since we survived to tell the tale).
Our lack of time creates a generation of self-loathing, shrink-dwelling victims that feel that they’re stuck in their tracks with habits that sabotage their ability to achieve goals and sometimes even pose a real health threat…but not all is lost.
We can resist the pull our bad habits have over us prior to them taking over and even shake them once they do by following those 5 simple techniques:
1# First! Modify your language before the habits are rooted too deep
Warren Buffet said once:
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
Smokers are usually “light smokers” long before they smoke a pack a day and every alcoholic will tell you that he drank “casually” long before he became fully-fledged. By calling them by their names – bad behaviors, you avoid making bad habits out of them.
Descriptions that might influence us subconsciously and diminish the sting behind the bad habit with positive or even cute adjectives, mask the potential for harm with Fog of war and mask the threat until it’s too late.
2# Selfishness is a virtue when fighting them bad habits
“Intensely selfish people are always very decided as to what they wish. They do not waste their energies in considering the good of others.” Ouida, Wanda.
Being a bit selfish is not so bad when fighting bad habits. Is it selfish to ask someone to stop talking loudly because he’s interfering with your ability to concentrate? Of course it is…and by doing so you’re allowing yourself to concentrate better at the task at hand, increasing your chance to finish it successfully.
Love yourself, don’t let random people needs and actions invade your space, help yourself to consolidate good habits.
3# Pashed approach VS Cold Turkey
“For 8 years now I’ve been addicted to cold turkey. When I tell people I’m quitting cold turkey, they say, “What are you quitting?” I’m $@%%^ quitting cold turkey!” Zach Galifianakis
Don’t say “I’ll stop biting my fingernails, cold turkey”, it never works. Admit that you’re a person who needs help in fighting that habit and find the support you need.
While you focus on immediate results to your actions in the now, you’re focusing on the narrow spectrum of limited success opportunities…and that make you much more prone to failure in stopping those bad behaviors. By understanding and growing from every experience, whether it’s a success or failure, you’ll begin to realize that your true reward lay in prevention and the creation of good habits…and that’s a long run goal.
Take the long road and avoid shortcuts.
4# Don’t DO something to quit, BE someone who lived to tell the tale
“As my mother says, “You give back, you don’t give up.” You can always choose to help others. If you do, it will change you.” Susan Ford
Although not selfish at all and totally contradicting my 2nd suggestion, sometimes diverting our focus from ourselves and helping others helps us to succeed where we previously failed…Let me explain:
We can identify our own weaknesses in other people, by hacking our brain and taking on the mental of a mentor we’re giving ourselves a much needed boost in our fight against our own demons, while helping others to deal with their own.
5# Hang out with the right crowd
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain
People who smoke hang out with people who smoke the same way people who are healthy hang out with other healthy people. The concept of groups for like minded people is roughly based on the concept that you want to hang out with people who have the same habits, can support yours and won’t judge you for your behavior.
When you surround yourself with like minded people, your group orientation influences your ability to deal with temptations…As the plains of Elysium were reserved for the righteous; Tartarus was reserved for the wicked….People tend to attract the crowd that supports their behavior.