Do you know Where Your Habits are Taking You? Central to the The R Factor™ lies a fundamental principle: your habits are perfectly designed to get the results they’re getting. The outcomes in your life are the natural result of the habits you have developed. While it is very tempting to attribute success or failure to circumstances, the truth is that the outcomes you get are the result of the way you Manage the R™ in response to circumstances.
The quality of your life is determined by your patterns of attitude and action. How you Manage the R shapes your destiny. You don’t determine your future; you determine your habits and your habits determine your future.
We should continually ask ourselves,
“Are my habits producing the results I want?”
The answer, of course, is that we all have a mixture of habits: some of our habits are good, some are just OK, and some are counter-productive. Common sense tells us to keep doing the habits that help us and stop doing the ones that hold us back. The difficulty, however, is that habits are hard to change.
Habits are routines of attitude and behavior that we develop over time through repeated practice. A habit is a deeply ingrained pattern. It’s an embedded way of thinking and behaving. The challenge is that once we develop a habit we become comfortable with it. It becomes our preferred way of responding. The deceptive thing is that our preference for a bad habit can become so strong that we use it even if it isn’t working. When this happens we will stubbornly client to a behavior even though it is not producing the outcome that we want.
It’s pretty easy to get trapped in the gravitational pull of old habits. Samuel Johnson wrote: “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” The good news is that just as habits are built through repeated practice over time, habits can also be changed through repeated practice over time. You have almost unlimited capacity to build new, more effective ways of thinking and behaving. The important thing is to pay attention to the habits that are influencing and directing your life. Identify what is working and do more of it. Identify what is not working and stop doing it.
Doing more of what doesn’t work, doesn’t work!
If you want different outcomes in your life and work, you need different habits in the way you Manage the R. It is foolish to expect outcomes to change if your habits don’t change.
I read a quote recently that very clearly communicates the power of habit.
I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half of 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 to be 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 place the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I? I am habit!
Remember, you don’t determine your future. You determine your habits and your habits determine your future.