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Become the Master of Your Habits

Aug 17, 2007
Everyone's got habits. Some are annoying, cracking gum, talking while chewing, leaving the toilet seat up. Others are harmful, smoking, drinking too much, gossiping. But, some habits are helpful, good, and excellent, exercising daily, getting enough sleep, flossing your teeth, leaving early for appointments. You weren't born with any habits at all, but acquired them as you grew. This is great news, because it means that no matter how tough any particular habit seems to break, you learned it and you can un-learn it, too!

Successful people have good habits. They tend to have a high level of self-control. People who live frustrating, defeated lives have habits that have taken over and gotten ugly. These habits seem like giants, in full control of our every waking moment.

If you have a good understanding about how habits are formed, and a systematic plan for changing your habits into ones that are beneficial for you, you've got a great start on achieving your goals. People who are bent on success aren't the type who follow the path of least resistance. They know that some things in life take hard work and self-discipline. They understand the concept of delayed gratification.

Delayed gratification means attacking a situation with the full knowledge that it's a front-loaded prospect. The hardest, worst part of the task comes first. The reward comes last, but it's well worth all the sweat and tears that came before it. Most habits are formed when we short-circuit the process and are unwilling to put off receiving the reward. In failing to delay gratification, we accept a far inferior consolation prize instead of the shining glory we could have had.

If you want to make changes in your habits, you have to realize that it's a matter of timing, do you want a little reward now, or a big reward after you've done the work?

Most people can easily make a list of dozens of habits they'd like to either have or get rid of. They know what they need to do; they know it's time to clean house. Doing it, though, is another question. Mixed all together, this wish list seems impossible. It's too much all at once. But one by one, a persistent person can gnaw away at this mountain of change.

Making changes in our habits takes self-discipline. Discipline means training that develops self-control and orderly conduct. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to control a wild gorilla than to control yourself. The easiest thing in the world is for us to take the quickest path to satisfaction. This is why advertising works so well, promise us anything that's pleasurable, anything fast and easy, anything that makes us feel better, and we're there! Like an out-of-control toddler, we demand our immediate satisfaction, and the part of us that might be inclined to say "wait" or "no" gets run over. The more often we give in to our childish demands, the harder it gets to deny ourselves. The toddler in us gets used to having it our way, right away. The sane part of us eventually gives up. What's the use? Our cravings, our habits feel like an unstoppable force.

Part of becoming someone who is wise, mature, and successful is learning to master the power of self-discipline. It involves applying all we know, all the best tools and techniques, every resource available to us to free ourselves from habits that entangle us. It involves finding the motivation to rid ourselves of habits that endanger our quality of life, our freedom, and our ability to succeed. It involves becoming willing to be aware of what's really going on, of facing our needs directly and finding appropriate ways to have them met.

Research shows that new habits can be formed in twenty-one days. It works the same no matter whether it's a bad habit or a good one, whether it's a habit you're trying to add or to get rid of, twenty-one days is the magic number. It's like burning a new route through your brain cells, building a better road. Once the habit is there, it's the most efficient way to go, like a rut in the road, it's hard to jump over the edge and go a different way. Use this information to outsmart your bad habits. The twenty-one day timeframe is the foundation for a life in which you are the master of your habits.
About the Author
Andrew Cocks and Terry Zambri are Certified Bob Proctor Life Success Consultants and Network Marketing Coaches. Their new FREE book, The Life Success Factor, combined with their exclusive 3 step marketing system is creating massive success for their team. Visit: http://www.TheNetworkMarketingCoach.com
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