“Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.”
— Jim Ryun
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
— Jules Renard
“Yet habit–strange thing! What cannot habit accomplish?”
— Herman Melville
This probably never happens to you: I get in my vehicle and drive off to my destination. I’m thinking of things I need to do, ideas, other thoughts. About a mile away from home, I suddenly realize that I am not going where I intended, but somewhere I go often instead. This scenario does seem to happen more as I age.
Well, it’s worse than this I’m afraid. There have been a few times where I was about 40 miles from home realizing I’ve gone the wrong direction toward the wrong destination. And even more ridiculous than this, ofttimes, I go to the refrigerator forgetting why I went there.
I have to laugh each time this happens, and of course we all know that the reason it does is twofold: One, it is a habit pattern to do a certain thing, go a certain direction, and two, our thinking of thoughts has taken us on a very enjoyable, yet distracting journey as we allowed our habit to guide us on its own. Oh, lovely thoughts. . . Wake up!! Pay attention!! You’re doing it again!!
It’s just me, isn’t it? I was afraid of that. . .
Habit is an amazing thing that can help or hurt, yet we create them both. I’m motivated and really want to change, yet my habits keep me procrastinating and restarting when I feel I should be further down the road. I never thought of it as laziness because I work very hard and long, until after I read the Jules Renard quote: “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Oh. . . my oh my what a powerful, insightful and truly amazing quote this is. It explains so much about why I don’t accomplish more.
It does seem hard to tighten up the body if I am unwilling to work up a sweat. Not that effort is everything–frankly, I think thought is more powerful. Yet it is the willingness and even desire to rest before I get tired that slows my progress. Isn’t that an interesting observation?
Of course, I am only talking about me. . . it doesn’t happen to you. . . does it?
Habits Serve Me. Or Not. I Like It When They Do.
Spread Some Joy Today–Check your habit portfolio and see if there are some that need a little sprucing up. A habit is just something we repeatedly do. We are certainly machines in that respect–but with a brain that controls when we choose it.