Every morning I purposefully set my mind for the day and most mornings I run or walk several miles. These are daily habits of mine and they have been for many years. Feeding my mind and exercising my body are a big part of the foundation of my life every day. They are practices that get me going for the day ahead. The benefits are tremendously real for me, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.
In thinking about habits I thought I would share a poem I came across entitled “The Habit Poem,” by John Di Lemme:
I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your 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 and 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 men 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 all the precision of a machine, plus, the intelligence of a man. 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 put the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a HABIT!
In my view perhaps the basic message of all personal growth and thus the first principle of every success is that every one of us, alone, is responsible for our own habits. And our habits are created by our thinking. Our entire future lies in what we think and our daily habits, positive and negative. What does this mean for you? You have the most powerful force right in your mind, the ability to decide what your habits will be.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”