A few years ago I was driving and I let somebody in to my lane.
(I’m so generous)
To thank me they flashed the peace sign.
I thought they were so cool for doing that.
A couple days later someone else did the same thing
and I thought they were even cooler!
Cool Wasn’t A Habit Yet
I also wanted to be cool,
so I decided to adopt that mannerism.
The problem was I did not yet have the habit of flashing the peace sign
and it felt quite awkward, almost silly for me to do it.
I realized if I wanted to be cool like the cool kids
I had to continuously practice this until it became a habit.
And I did.
For a while I flash the peace sign at everybody for everything.
I’m sure it was quite annoying at times.
But I persisted and persisted.
Practice And Persistence Create Habits
Now the peace sign has become completely natural to me.
It really is a part of who I am.
People who know me are quite used to the fact
that I’m always flashing the peace sign.
I use it to say hello,
to say goodbye,
to say thank you,
to say you’re awesome
and I love you.
There is no conscious thought anymore.
It is an automatic action.
We Have The Power To Acquire And Change Our Habits
When I reflect upon this experience I think
how much power I have to change the habit other habits I have in my life.
I know I have habits in how I treat people,
and physical habits as well.
Some of my habits serve me well,
but many do not.
Many of my habits contribute to
unhappiness and struggle in my life.
I have learned that when I have sufficient motivation
and put in consistent effort
I am able to change, acquire, or let go of habits and behaviour patterns.
It is not easy, but when I put in the work it always pays off.
Getting Defensive Was a Destructive Habit
For example I had a habit of being defensive when receiving feedback.
At one point I realized that it can only benefit me,
and everyone around me, to change that habit.
Granted the pattern was likely instilled
through some kind of childhood trauma
Not being accepted for who I am or some such thing.
If this is the case clearly healing must occur
or that inner wound will leak out in other areas of my personality.
At the same time when I recognize a pattern
I am able to change it and this improves the quality of my life.
Make Continuous Choices
I made the effort continuously choose a more open reaction when I received feedback
soon that became my normal way of responding.
It is still something I work on regularly,
but I’ve made significant progress over the years.
Working on any habit it is possible to make a difference.
It will take effort and patience, but the change will occur.
I have changed, acquired and let it go of many habits in my lifetime,
but even as I write this post I can feel countless others that I have not.
It seems there is much work ahead!