The Habit | A Hallmark of Success?

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Habits are the gears of life

Christophe Vorlet

I’ve heard it said that habits are a hallmark of successful people. Perhaps it is the artist in me, but for much of my life I have tried to avoid developing too many habits just for the sake of routine. I love the spontaneity of life, and the joy of letting myself take an opportunity when it presents itself.

Many people swear by habits as formulas for success and one author even titled a book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Whether I like it or not, I have found that I do have habits, even if they are not conscious choices.  These habits may be the time I wake up in the morning, when I check my email and how I eat my meals. These habits affect how I interact with my family, co-workers and friends.

Set routines or daily habits provide a certain amount of stability and comfort in life. Whether that habit is drinking a cup of coffee every morning, hugging our children before they leave for school, saying I love you to our life partner, reading sacred texts, prayer, meditation, yoga, running, watching television or any other consciously chosen daily activity, these habits help us to maintain a certain equilibrium regardless of what happens in this unpredictable life.

The current habit that I am working on developing is writing at least six-hundred words each day. This blog is a big part of this habit/goal. If I write two posts a day each day, I should hit my mark easily.

But what does that mean? It means that I need to make the time. I have already missed a few days here in there since I began at the end of January. Usually the culprit is some other impending project that I think is more important than my writing time, other times is simply pure exhaustion, that makes it hard to get up early in the morning and write. Sometimes it is lack of coherent thoughts that I can put into a readable document.

So, whether I manage to meet my goal each day or not, my readers will know. Hopefully when 2011 is over, I will have developed the habit of writing each day.  I know that I already look at the days I do write as successes, and those days I skip feel incomplete, no matter what else I managed to accomplish.

I am sure that some days what I write will be valued little more than vomit on the page, but on the days that I struggle to meet my goal, even vomit on the page will be considered a grand success, for habits serve their need best when they are the most difficult to maintain.

image by Christophe Vorlet originally published in the New York Times

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About The Pluralist Advocate

The Pluralist Advocate started out this life in a conservative Military oriented community, and he later moved to that bastion of liberal activism called the San Francisco Bay Area. Having lived both ends of the political spectrum he has a unique understanding of both sides of most issues. He was also very religious growing up, serving as a studying the Christian scriptures and even spending some time as a foreign missionary. He used to think he had all the answers to life's greatest questions, but the more he looks around the world, the more he finds a wide variety of different values that work for different people. This blog is an exploration of thought and consideration from as many points of view as can be held at one time. He now holds the position that truth is found in many different disciplines. You may know the Pluralist Advocate around the web and twitter as brihartwell, or his given name of Brian Hartwell. He hates to be narrowly defined by one title, so as you read these musings you may find things you identify with, and others that you despise. That is good. Please share your reactions to the thoughts here and we will all grow together.