Monday, May 18, 2009

The Best of All Habits!

I am not sure if this one was among Coveys' 7 Habits of Highly Effective People! It is by far the one and single habit that, once properly acquired and maintained, will automatically fix everything else in our life.

We have all the wisdom we need, already stored within. All the self-help and self-improvement techniques essential for our current situation are already there. No one has them for us.. but us! Our past has all the experience we need for today, our present all the experience we need for tomorrow!

If we have all what we need, then we need not look further. We just need one thing: being able to do what we know we should do, and being able to stop doing what we know we should stop doing. This ability to go, straight and fast, from knowing to doing is what we seriously and urgently need to work on. Imagine that you need to drive your car from here to there, but your car isn't starting, and once it starts it dies a few minutes down the road. And what are you doing now? You're just worrying about there. The car is just a tool that doesn't require much attention, it's the destination that matters! It's the destination that deserves time and effort! Ok, but you will just stay here, thinking about the destination, and frustrated that every time you think you're getting closer, you wake up to the fact that you're not really moving at all, and you always come back to the starting point!

You just need a shift of focus. Forget about any destination now. Just put your time and effort fixing your only tool that will get you there. Let's take a famous example: losing weight. The ones carrying the extra pounds know that simple steps can take them a very long way out of fat and into fit! Yes, if they just change their diet and move more they will make a big difference in their body. But it's never easy. What's not easy, exactly? Not losing the weight, in all truth. What's always hard is doing what we know we need to do to see the pounds melt away!

We will never get there, anywhere, until we focus all our attention on the one thing that we really need, the one habit that if we cultivate and make strong, will enable us to accomplish our goals. It's the habit of "Doing What We Know We Should Do". We should drop all other goals, forget about all desired destinations, and work on our vehicle. Fix it and make sure that once we know where we want to go, we can just start it and drive it there. It will just take us the time of getting there. No wasted time in dying and going back to where we started, no wasted time in waiting days, weeks and months until we can start the journey one more time. We will be reaslitic, we will know how far it is, and how long the drive usually takes. If traffic is good (which it actually is much of the time!) then we will get there on time, if not we'd only be a few hours or a few minutes late! How wonderful and powerful would that be?

Let's forget about all our unaccomplished goals. They've been unable to come to life for a long time anyway, right?! Let's focus on one muscle, one tool, one habit that has the power to take care of everything else. Let's exercise our ability and flexibility to DO IT, as soon as WE KNOW IT.

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