3 Extra Dangerous Habits to Dump Now (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 283)
“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.”
— William James
You’ve probably heard that your good habits outweigh your bad ones and that idea makes sense. The truth is, however, that most of us aren’t aware of our good habits or our bad ones. Thus, we develop habits that don’t help us make progress in any way. These habits are automatic and we don’t think before we act.
Studies have shown that over 40% of the things we do are automatic. We do them without thinking. This helps speed life along some; imagine thinking about driving every time you get behind the wheel. It would be nerve-wracking to do that every single time. But some habits wreak havoc in our lives and it is best that we change those around completely.
Here are 3 extra dangerous habits you should dump now:
1. Standing in our own path and then knocking ourselves over.
One of the most difficult habits that many people have is standing in our own way, preventing our own success, and hindering our own selves from getting what we really want. We resist the things we want for many different reasons, some of them are too hard or too vague to identify. Similarly, eating ice cream while walking down the street doesn’t have a real outcome. Neither does fear, worry, or giving in to pressure. Yet we do these things anyway not because it solves our problems but because it makes us feel eerily comfortable in our condition. It gives us the false feeling that our problem has been resolved when it really hasn’t.
If you have been wanting to do something positive — go to college, write a book, start a business, produce a movie — whatever, now is the time to drop the habit of standing in your own path and sabotaging your possibilities. Learn to separate your old self from your new self, your old way of living from the new way you want to live, your old way of thinking and acting from the changes you want to make in your life. Resistance is one prerequisite for change. That’s why change is so difficult. But you’ll never change if you don’t stop putting yourself in the middle of the street and then running yourself over.
2. Waiting for happiness.
We live in a society that continuously confronts us with the idea that if we have more of this and less of that we’ll be happier. This leaves so many people running after illusions that don’t exist and as a result feeling empty and unhappy with their lives. The idea that you will be happy when … you get married, or leave home, or finish college, or get your dream job, or have more money, or lose weight, or achieve power or status … is a bad habit that keeps us more stuck than we have to be.
There is some good and some bad where you are right now in life and it will be the same way wherever you go to next. Leaving one location does not guarantee your situation will change because situations are often personal to us and they will go wherever we go. Chasing false ideas keeps us feeling disillusioned, discontented, and unhappy. Like so many things in life, being happy is a choice that you make regardless of who you are, what you have, where you live or the people you are around.
3. Being consumed with forcing other people to change.
You can be in control of many things in your life but if there is one thing you absolutely cannot be in control of no matter how old or powerful you get, it is people.You cannot control or change other people. If you are trying to do so, you are only spinning your wheels and on a futile pursuit that will leave you stressed and disappointed and the other person will be left unchanged by you. You might be doing this unknowingly and unconsciously but it is still dangerous. People will be who they choose to be, not who you try to make them out to be.
We can offer advice, be a good listener, be empathic, lend a shoulder to cry on, and have a tender heart for people, but we do not have the power to change them. It is okay to be concerned, not worried, if someone has developed dangerous habits like excessive drinking and overdoing drug usage, but unfortunately, you are powerless to actually stop them from destroying themselves. You can talk to them, but you cannot make them do anything. No matter how bad their situation may be, some people are simply not ready to change. Change is completely up to them just like how you live your life is completely up to you.
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”