“Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.” – Hyman Rickover
Daily Nugget of Gold 1322
So often when we think of habits, we think of those things that are good and bad. Exercising, organization, and daily hygiene are usually considered to be good habits; while smoking, drinking to excess, and overeating might be considered to be bad. Did you notice we left a little wiggle-room in that sentence? Yes, of course- good habits can be bad habits and vice-versa, at times. We’re also wary of painting anything like that connected with human behavior with too broad a brush. We didn’t come here today to discuss physical habits, however. We want to entertain the notion that the way we think is habit-driven. Say what? Let’s look at this a little more closely.
The brain loves habits. Loves them! Every time we form a habit, our brain can then move into auto-pilot and it can free up the rest of it’s function for other things. Think of driving a car. The first few times we do it, it seems that any attempt of having a conversation is extremely distracting- because it is! We’re too busy trying to learn just what the heck to do as we try to master how much gas, when to brake, what to watch all around us, and where to steer the car on the road so that we don’t hit anything. Sure enough, we move from that highly confusing situation to being able to drive with relative ease. We could then easily hold a conversation while doing it. It seems natural.
So when we see someone who says something like, “I tried thinking positive, but it’s too hard”, or perhaps, “It’s easy for you to to be so happy, but you don’t have my circumstances, so that’s why I feel the way I do”. These observations are being made before the positive thinking has become habitual. It would be like taking a driving lesson, hitting a curb, and declaring, “That’s it! I can’t drive!”. Suppose someone had done that and you then talked to them and reassured them this was completely normal, that everyone makes mistakes at first and that they should keep trying until they get it. Wouldn’t it make sense?
Thought habits are no different than any other habit we form. They seem difficult at first, but the more we do it, the better we get at being able to do it easily… maybe even effortlessly… or perhaps even…. dare we say it? Automatically. Rather than try to cram everything about this subject into one installment, we thought it might be good to linger on this subject a little while. We’ve pretty much formed the habit of doing that, haven’t we? See you next time!
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do today to install a new thought habit which empowers me?”
Copyright 2015 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.