“Powerful indeed is the Empire of Habit.”
—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer 42 BCE
I wonder if Publilius Syrus was an influence in the creation of Yoda in the Star Wars series. Today’s quote sure sounds like a Yoda-ism!
Take a moment to examine your personal and professional empires. How satisfied, fulfilled, and generally happy are you in regards to what you have built through your daily habits?
How are things looking regarding your health, relationships, career, finances, community engagement, and spiritual pursuits?
If you are falling short of the mark, examine your current habits, which are the key to over 90% of our lives.
Daily microresolutions can help set you on a more successful course. You can learn about microresolutions through the work of Caroline Arnold and her book, Small Move, Big Change.
“Are you following a path, or blazing one?”
-Michael Bungay Stanier, Sr. Partner of Box of Crayons
Image from Flickr by Vinoth Chandar
We are all creatures of habit. Just take a look at a typical day to explore all of the routines and rituals that engage your time.
The good news is that habits are often extremely helpful in that they usually provide us the necessary momentum to pursue and achieve many of our goals.
On the other hand, new goals that we passionately desire rarely come to fruition because we continue to follow our current path, using familiar strategies and tactics.
Where and on what personal or professional goals is blazing a path the thing to do to achieve what you most desire? What new and different behaviors and attitudes will be required to do so?
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return.”
—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
A client recently shared with me a book titled Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Tom Corley.
From Corley’s years of research into hundreds of rich and poor people, I learned that of the wealthiest people:
- 88% read for 30 minutes or more each day.
- 63% listen to audio-books during their commute.
- 94% read about current events.
- 50%+ read biographies of successful people.
In contrast, only about one in fifty of those struggling financially engaged in daily self-improvement reading.
How can and will you invest the time and resources in your personal and professional development efforts to lead an even more richly rewarding life?
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
-Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
Image from Quote of the Day
I like bargains and two-for-one sales. This quote is a three-for-one! In Ben Franklin’s time, the word “vices” perhaps meant “behaviors that do not better oneself or another.” Today, I suggest we consider them “bad habits” instead.
The idea of being a better person points to our ability to learn, grow, and improve as individuals.
What bad habits/vices will you declare war upon? In which relationships will you make a stand for peace? In what ways do you intend to be a better person in this new year?
“You are What you Eat.”
Image from eslforeveryone.com
Most health and fitness experts would agree with the truth of today’s quote. Who would want to live their life as a baloney sandwich? Or a deep-fried Twinkie?
Based on my research, here are the foods that should be on everyone’s shopping list:
||Beans & Lentils
|Nuts & Seeds
Consider going on a food safari to bring more of these life-enhancing foods into your kitchen. Even small adjustments to this part of your lifestyle can make a big difference.
“I’ll take good habits over good luck.”
—Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author
Image from bodyforwife.com
Samuel Goldwyn’s famous statement, “The harder I work the luckier I get,” points to our ability to create our own luck, or at least become more successful through our own committed efforts.
Examine your good habits, and those of people you admire, to see what positive and favorable outcomes result.
Rate your habits in the following areas on a scale of one to five, with one being poor and five being high. What efforts might be required on your part to be the one that people admire?
||Health and Fitness
|Avocations and Hobbies
“Inspect what you expect.”
-Paul J. Meyer, Founder of the Personal Development Industry
Image from Flickr by Kate Ter Haar
One of the primary reasons people experience varying degrees of upset in their lives is unfulfilled expectations.
When we believe that something is supposed to happen, such as a friend or colleague making a promise on which they do not follow through, our blood can boil a bit.
If we take coaching from today’s quote, and inspect what we expect, we can often shift our expectations on the fly. This will reduce negative consequences considerably. On many occasions, the added attention we give to such matters increase the odds of our expectations being fulfilled.
How would the practice or habit of inspecting what you expect impact your personal or professional worlds for the better?
“In the game of life, it is wise to refrain from keeping score.”
Image from empowerenlightenenvision.com
As a business coach, most clients engage my services to support them in achieving the objectives and results they desire.
On many occasions, as today’s quote recommends, I suggest that they refrain from keeping score.
Consider these few additional quotes related to marriage, friendships, and relationships:
“Marriage is not a contest. Never keep score. God has put the two of you together on the same team, to win.”
“A friend is someone who does things that count, but doesn’t stop to count them.”
“Relationships aren’t for getting things. They are for giving things. Never fall in love to make yourself happy. Fall in love to make the person you fall in love with happy.”
Where has the habit of keeping score limited or challenged your personal or professional relationships? Where and with whom is it wiser to be more generous, and refrain from keeping score?
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
—Don Marquis, American humorist, journalist, and author
Image from connectedhotel.com
For the past four years—since my mother’s passing—my father Marvin has been living with Wendy and me. One of the characteristics he demonstrates quite often, given his occasional forgetfulness, is what I call reverse procrastination. He has developed a “do it immediately” approach to many things.
The new habit can be surprising, because he often stops in the middle of one activity and starts another that has just come to mind. If he doesn’t do it when it comes to mind, he is likely to forget to do it at all. The up side of it is that he does remember to go back and finish the first activity!
Where do you fit on the procrastination continuum of “do it now,” or “it can wait for whenever”?
What adjustments are needed to make sure you are not simply keeping up with yesterday?