Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them. ~Confucius, Analects
A new year has just kicked off, so it seems appropriate to set some goals into place. Among the hundreds of goals flooding my mind this week, there was one that is most apparent; breaking down the bad habits and develop new ones.
Throughout the past few months I have recognized that my habits, which seem so small since I have programmed them into my subconscious for the past years, ultimately dictate my life and represents my character. I have been attending a social group that meditates and incorporates Buddhist practices into everyday business and stressful situations, and I have noticed the same message constantly.
“Free of Attachment” – in my perspective, means for myself or anyone to be free from negative habits, prejudices, bias, stress, the list goes on and on. One the of key reasons to practice meditation is just to free yourself from everything and just “be”. Still learning to “just be”, I have realized that habits can make or break a person. Countless times I find myself sluggishly hit snooze on my alarm clock, wasting 15 minutes that I could spend, who knows, doing push-ups or making myself an actual breakfast. Instead of wasting time exploring Wikipedia, I can plan my next day or hang out with friends and family. Eliminating and freeing myself from these bad habits and forming new good habits in their place is my goal.
One big reason for this specific goal is replacing the bad habits with good habits that will better service my overall perception in everyday life. One of the books I’m currently reading, Having it All, by John Assaraf, states that “seeing is not the same as perceiving”. According to Assaraf, the brain collects what we see, and whether the images are familiar or not, any information we don’t need, is basically thrown out from our consciousness.
“Our beliefs and habits act as filters that get in the way of truth and possibilities.” Another point I liked, “We talk, act, and pretend out the prejudices of our beliefs.” Our prejudices and beliefs dictates our self-esteem, our personal relationships, and even our mental and physical health. Our conscious mind takes in about 11 million pieces of information! And we are actually only aware of 40-2,000 pieces. Our habits condition our brain to drop out and not even see or recognize the other 10 million + information.
Keeping that in mind, I want to eliminate the negative habits that are fixed into my subconscious and form new positive habits that will allow myself, or my subconscious, to perceive and pick up more important information relevant to my goals, tasks, or situation at the time. Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Workweek, promotes Selective Ignorance, where I should focus on the real important information that matters or info that is relevant, and ignore all the millions of crap information thrown at us from all directions. For more information on using Selective Ignorance as a tool, read about RRS – Really Simple Syndication – for the internet, from Ryan Holiday‘s post. I need to follow this advice, and stop taking in or paying time and attention to irrelevant and unimportant info that I seem to draw myself into courtesy of my bad habits.
Like watching stupid videos on YouTube due to my bad habit of procrastination, and spend time taking in important info relevant to my goals and educating myself, now courtesy of my new positive habit = starting this blog.
To sum it up, my ultimate goal for 2008 is to replace my bad habits and condition new positive habits that will allow my subconscious to perceive and recognize the important and relevant info of the 11 million pieces thrown at me daily. With more efficient perception, I can be open to more possibilities and be more creative, and be free from my past prejudices and negative habits. To top it off, I’ll incorporate Selective Ignorance into my daily life to cut out the crap and focus more on the good stuff that benefits me. I believe that habits can either make or break a person. We all have some negative habits, and I think it is always important to recognize them, eliminate, then replace them with new positive habits. Equipping myself now with the right positive habits will allow myself to conquer and accomplish any of my goals and dreams.
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