“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Humans are certainly creatures of habit. We go about living our lives one day at a time, often performing same tasks over and over again daily, weekly, monthly, and so on.
A habit can be simply defined as any task we consciously or unconsciously perform on a regular basis. A habit can be as basic as always putting on a seat belt prior to starting our vehicles or more sophisticated such as taking an hour just for ourselves every Sunday evening to reflect back on the prior week and plan the one coming ahead.
It is in the very nature of a habit to become unconscious over a period of time due to its repetitive nature. What happens is that when we perform a task repeatedly, we condition our body and mind to consistently behave in a certain manner.
Habits becoming unconscious can be a good or a bad thing.
It can be a good thing when we have consciously chosen our habits in alignment with our goals and vision. When our habits are positive and allow us to be happier, healthier, and richer.
It can be a bad thing or better put, an opportunity for improvement, when we have become involved with a habit which is negatively affecting us spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or physically.
Awareness is an absolute blessing. The more aware a person becomes the more power they have over their life.
As a person becomes aware of their habits in contrast with their life’s desires, they arrive at a crucial point. Do I do something about it, or do I continue to act in the same manner? The truth of the matter is different actions produce different results.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein
As a person chooses different habits, it is very important to realize that gaining new habits almost always means losing old ones. This is because everything in life is energy. You can take anything and its most basic element will be atoms, which further break down to very interestingly behaving waves of energy.
In order for us to choose new habits we need new energy. We will need to find this new energy which our new habits require from somewhere. One of the simplest ways to find more energy is to let go of old habits and use that same energy towards new habits.
The two habits I am about to share with you have had a profound effect in my own life. They have allowed me to be happier and wiser. Amongst a few other habits, I will be performing these two for all the years ahead.
My two simple habits for a more fulfilled life are;
* Daily Meditation
* Continuous Education
Meditation is a broad subject and can be approached via many different angles.
Most people think of the Buddha or a monk sitting in silence with his eyes closed in a cave somewhere in an Eastern country when they think of meditation. In reality, meditation is much more practical and you will be surprised to hear that you are probably already meditating but do not realize that you are doing it.
Meditation can be defined as a calming and peaceful state of mind deliberately attained by performing a particular task.
With that in mind, listening to music can be considered meditation because it puts you in a certain state of mind. Going out for a walk with your dog can also be considered as meditation because it puts you in a particular relaxed state of mind where you can temporarily seem to forget about the past or future, while deeply enjoying the present.
Although these forms of meditations and others similar are beneficial, there is another form of meditation which can be approached in a much more systematic manner.
If you find yourself with a deep feeling inside that there is “something missing,” give the following a try over a period of one week:
Put on some comfortable clothing and find a quiet spot somewhere indoors or outdoors. While sitting down with your back straight (you can lean against whatever you would like), close your eyes and focus on your breath. Be sure that your arms and legs are uncrossed and to set a timer for 15 minutes.
Your mind will come up with hundreds of different thoughts during the meditation and that is totally normal. Each time you realize that your mind in wandering off and that you are supposed to be meditating, simply focus your attention back to your breathing.
This one habit can forever change your life as long as you are willing to be open minded and stepping outside your typical comfort zone.
The benefits of meditation will be subtle. You will simply be happier, calmer, and more aware of yourself, your habits, and your surrounding. As you continue to meditate over a longer period of time, weeks and months, a profound feeling of being content with yourself will become more and more noticeable.
There are plenty of amazing resources available to further acquaint yourself with meditation. A great beginner’s book on the subject is “Total Meditation” by Susannah Marriott.
The truth of the matter is that we all entered this world without a single piece of knowledge. Everything that any individual knows is simply learned via a variety of different channels over the period of time.
These channels include our parents, our culture, our religious leaders, our siblings, our school teachers, our government, our family, and the list goes on and on. Most of us go through some kind of high school, some moving on to college. Once we have graduated and obtained a degree, we consider ourselves educated.
In reality, education has no end.
Rather, it is a process which is continuously performed over our entire life. No matter what your chosen line of profession, I can guarantee that there is more to learn. Allow me to approach the same subject with a different light.
“In nature you are either growing or dying.”
– T. Harv Eker
Unquestionably, we are certainly a part of nature.
If we choose to no longer educate ourselves by reading books or magazines, watching informative television programming and movies, or attending workshops and seminars, we are simply falling behind since life is always moving forward. Always has been and always will be.
In order to stay with the flow of life, we must always be educating ourselves further whether the knowledge is general or specific. The best way to find out how we should go about our education process is to follow the following two guidelines:
1. When you are involved in an educational activity such that you lose track of time, you are on the right path.
2. Follow your heart. What is your heart telling you? Does it say to go to Veterinarian School and become a Veterinarian? Does it say to read books on Day Trading and start doing small trades? Whatever it says, if you follow your hearts advice you will never be disappointed.
Conscious continuous education is a trait found amongst all successful people.
So, let’s put this together.
Daily meditation and continuous education allow for a constant spiritual renewal. Since spirit or energy is where it all begins, such a stable foundation allows for a host of other habits which can be successfully added to one’s life. These other habits include balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and total gratitude no matter wherever you are in your life, because there will always be people who have it worse.
By choosing to become aware of our habits and directing them in a manner that is in alignment with our deepest goals and desires, we only have fulfillment and happiness to gain as a result.
May God and the Universe always be with you on your forever continuous journey to a better, more meaningful life.