New Understandings about Habits and Big Changes in Life
You have to make new habits in order to improve the quality of your life.
This is a slow process.
There are thousands of new habits you could make for yourself to improve yourself.
There is limited time.
More importantly, there is limited energy.
So what do you do? What’s the best strategy and action to make your future better than your past?
Do everything that suits you as a person. If you like to write, write (I’m talking to myself here). If you like to meditate, meditate (also, myself). If you like to ride bikes, hike, or paint, do any of those things when you feel like doing them.
Here’s how it DOES NOT work: You start one habit, continue it, then magically make it automatic and free up your conscious energy to start another habit and start the cycle over again. This is how it works if YOU ARE A MACHINE.
If YOU ARE A HUMAN, then here’s how it works: You start one habit, do it for a while, feel benefits (stronger, smarter, faster, taller, etc.), and at some point you stop doing it. This is false. You do not stop doing it, you simple take a break. But it is terrifying nonetheless. Then, you pick up a new habit, do it for a while, feel the benefits, and revive the cycle. Later on, after going through however many other habits you do, you come back to the original habit, and start doing it again. It is different this time because you are different, because of the other habits you have been practicing in the interim between the first round and this later round. This change is exactly the change you were looking for, but you had no way of knowing it back then because you had to go through the process, which is the process of creation, and that is unpredictable.
Let’s take an example. I value meditation. I believe it is good for me. I strongly, deeply believe this. I did it regularly, almost every day for about a full year. That was about two years ago. I became a meditator. Then I stopped, almost as soon as I allowed myself to start calling myself a meditator, which took about a year to do. It has been about two years since I meditated regularly. For a while, I still called myself a meditator. I have stopped for fear of being called out as fraudulent. Now, I have realized that I need to do it again. The time is right again. I remember what it gives me, space in my head to see without having to take action. To hold space for myself. And I see that I need it now.
The goal is not to become a meditator. It is just to visit this phase now, to play this round of practice. And when I feel that I no longer need it, I will take a break and move on to the next thing I think I need at the time.
Excuse me. I am going to meditate now.