The truth of this statement is startling. No matter where you are in life, if you take an honest look back at your path you will be able to see the little things, the daily habits, that got you to where you are now. It might be a good place or a place you want to change, but the arrival at any place is typically the result of many repeated decisions. Volumes have been written about the power of habits, yet their power is so often overlooked because it seems too small and insignificant. If someone wanted to lose 50 pounds that person probably wouldn’t focus on the habit of pouring 20 calories of creamer in their cup of coffee. But what if that person drank 5 cups of coffee each day? 100 calories of creamer each day. 36,500 calories of creamer each year. 10.4 pounds gained each year from that 20 calories of creamer – or 10.4 pounds lost. This idea of looking at the little habits that form the big picture is fascinating. What is one habit you could add to or drop from your daily routine that could make a big difference over the course of a year?
I first came across the poem below in Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. The author is unknown and it is easily found by searching the internet. Whoever penned these words had a deep understanding of how our lives are made up of our simple day-to-day decisions.
The Habit Poem
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn
over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin –
it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am Habit.
People don’t decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their futures. L.M. Alexander