The Power of Habit

People who come to me for coaching often have several things in common. They tend to be intelligent, growth-minded, and open to change. They’re usually genuine assets to their companies with great potential. This may make you wonder why they need coaching. But the other thing they have in common is that one or more bad habits stand in the way of greater success.

In my meetings with clients, I often share this narrative because it’s such an effective description of the power of habit:

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 the things you do you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly. 

I am easily managed – you must merely 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 all great people; and alas, of all failures as well.  Those who are failures, I have made failures.  

I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human being.  You may run me for a profit or turn 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.   (Anonymous)

So, ask yourself what habits do you currently have that either make you successful or hold you back? Put your whole day “on the table” for scrutiny. Should you alter your sleep schedule to get more Z’s or get up earlier? Does anything you eat or drink hurt your health or impair your cognitive strength? Do you do first things first or dabble in unimportant tasks or distractions? Would a few minutes of prayer or meditation help you focus and center your priorities?

The concept is simple, yet not always easy: You can change your life by changing your habits. What’s stopping you?

If you want to learn more about the power of habit I highly recommend Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd


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