Our actions need constant renewal to prove our values.
Our actions become habits after we’ve consciously reinforced the behaviour through repetition. The constant renewal rendering the behaviour reflexive. To do anything worthy, you must make a choice. The choice is not to do what is easy, but to do what is difficult. When a child does well at a certain subject in school, she’ll tend to spend more time on that subject. Ironically, the subjects that need it most end up getting the least of her attention.
Gaining a healthy habit is no different to picking up a bad one. To make a habit stick requires choice and constant renewal. Here are five healthy habits worthy of your choice:
1. Take time out to pray
Whether you sit in silence in your room, in the garden, or at your desk, make time to pray. The start and the end of the day are easier to do but also find time in your day to be silent and reflect.
2. Let go of everything in excess
The opposite of love is not hatred, it is selfishness. With love, sharing comes easy. Folks with less than you have given a lot more than you. Soften your heart and let go of excess ‘stuff.’
3. Living in unity with one another
We survive and thrive best in communities. The desire to form connections with one another is in our DNA. Our body is rewarded with a boost of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin-our ‘happy hormones’ -when we engage with one another. Don’t be fooled, living in unity requires sacrifice, compassion, empathy, humility, tolerance-not easy.
4. Be good to your enemy
Revenge is an ugly thing. Often the pendulum swings further in retaliation. An aggrieved person feels it’s their right to set the record straight-to get even. Do you want to live a bitter or better life? Carrying hatred or disdain is a burden to your mental health. As tough as it sounds, try overcoming evil with good.
5. Be good to the World
By making a habit of the first four, the final habit towards Mother Nature is a breeze. Our footprint on the world so far shows we don’t tread lightly. If we habitually reduce our negative impact through our actions, the earth will respond in kind.
From a young age, I had the habit of biting my nails. Something about myself I disliked was that I bite my nails. It made my hands look ugly and it’s unhealthy. Every time I looked at my hands, I felt the sharp pang of regret. I felt embarrassed for not having the self-control or willpower to stop biting my nails. It was an outward sign of my weakness.
Not for one second have I ever not wished, to never have started biting my nails. Believe me, I’ve tried thousands of times to stop and all kinds of remedies and treatments. But to change the habit I needed to make a choice and renew that choice constantly. It isn’t easy. But by being present and in the moment, I’ve been able to adjust my behaviour.
Since my Daughter became my in-house manicurist and greatest motivator to stop biting. I’ve started being proud of my hands for the first time in my life. I’ve lost one bad habit, the above sound worthy of replacing it.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
Originally published at https://www.leapfirst.co.za on May 21, 2021.