The degrees of success and happiness we achieve in life result
overwhelmingly from the actions we take. But the actions which matter
most are not those we do every now and then. It is our consistent actions
(our habits) which more than anything else determine the direction and
success of our lives. Thus, the first key to success is to adopt good
However, the problem with the above bill of advice is that in the vast
majority of cases our habits are not the result of conscious thought and
logical decision making. Instead, our habits tend to be “reactions” to our
experiences. If those experiences are disproportionately negative, they
will tend to produce negative reactions and when this happens
consistently, the mental foundation for the bad habit would have been
Always remember that while all experiences count, the ones which count
the most in shaping our habits are those which are most emotional and
which occur most frequently, especially when we are young. But despite
their obvious power and near control over our lives, we do not have to be
slaves to our past experiences. Indeed, if those experiences have
produced low self-esteem, self-defeating habits and other negative
behaviors, we must not be slaves to them.
The most important tool to employ in order to take control of you habits
(and as a result become the master of your destiny) is to be highly
motivated. You must be driven. Your desire for success must be greater
than your fear of failure. You must step outside your current comfort zone
and take a chance. If you are not currently a highly motivated person,
here are some steps you can take to become a more focused and
Establish Clear, Specific Goals !
You life goals are the things which give purpose to your life. They are the
reason you live. Your desire to achieve these goals will be your greatest
motivator. Thus, you must organize you life around the achievement of
those goals. Write them down and read (internalize) them at least twice a
Take An Action A Day !
You must establish an action plan which requires that you do at least one
thing each day which brings you closer to your goals. Never forget that it
is action which turns goals and dreams into realities. Do something each
day. Habit is nothing but repeated behavior. Just do it, do it, do it. And
one day you will wake up and find yourself taking productive actions
without even thinking about it. That is when you would have formed a
Instill Emotion !
Rational thought and logic can enable us to figure out what to do and
how to do it, but it is only emotion that will make us do it. Human behavior
is emotionally driven. The two chief emotions are desire and fear. Strong
desire will make you take action. But fear can also prompt action. You
act because you are afraid of the consequences if you fail to act. I
recommend the use of self-hypnosis to instill strong, positive emotional
desire. And self-hypnosis can be as simple as retreating to a quiet place
twice a day and emotionally repeating positive affirmations.
Take Charge !
Repeat this mantra, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” There may be a host of
reasons for current bad habits ranging from having been raised in a
dysfunctional home to falling in with the wrong crowd, to just not having
correct information. Regardless, if things are going to change for the
better, it is up to you. No one else is responsible for bettering your life. If
you find someone or group which helps, that’s fine. But the chief
responsibility is yours. Stop playing the “blame game” and take charge
of your life.
– By Robert N. Taylor