Your bad habits limit your success in life. Below are six of the worst, with suggestions on how to break them. It is great if you can retrain your mind and develop good habits too, but just getting rid of bad habits is a great start to a better life.
- Waiting for opportunity. Should I be “waiting for my ship to come in,” while others are out there building ships? Waiting doesn’t invite opportunities – work does. Begin searching out opportunities and creating opportunities. Training your mind to see them can be as simple as looking for them. Then train yourself to take advantage of them by always taking some small step the moment you recognize an opportunity.
- Short-term thinking. I talked to a man who paid $700 per month in rent when a nicer place was available for $550. Why did he do it? The $700 apartment required no deposit, but the cheaper place required a $450 deposit, so he would have had to save $1,000 (instead of $700) to move in. Due to his short-term thinking, he now pays $1,800 more for rent each year. Though short term thinking got this man into his situation, and he didn’t have the $300 extra, he still could have gone to the pawn shop and raised the money. It would have cost very little interest compared to spending $1,800 more per year on rent. Consider the long-term consequences of your actions, and write them down whenever you make a decision. Continue this until your mind does it automatically.
- Impulsive actions. A man showed me his $200 hat, then minutes later he told me he was hoping they would approve his welfare application. Perhaps a problem with impulse control? Perhaps it’s possible that his bad habits have lead to a place on the welfare rolls? The solution? You’ll usually change your mind about impulsive decisions by the next day. Wait a day before taking any action that commits time, energy or money towards something that is not a major goal in your life. Do it until it is a habit.
- Blaming. Whether justified or not, how often does blaming someone or something for our situation motivates us to improve it? It is definitely one of the worst of these bad habits, and one of the more subtle ones too. Giving “reasons” for our troubles, for example, is often just a form of blaming. Let’s suppose that a given type of business is over-regulated. Who will most likely succeed here anyhow, the man who blames the regulation for his troubles, or the one that is always asking, “What can I do to succeed with things the way they are?” If you want greater success train your mind to think like the latter. Do you want to point at problems, or deal with them?
- Procrastination. We know that often, “later” becomes “never.” To stop procrastinating, get in the habit of looking for and doing the easiest first step you can find. Often just starting will develop your motivation.
- Indulging one’s laziness. I have little to say about this bad habit, except that I don’t know anyone who has suffered greatly from forcing themselves to get up and do something. Do something easy first, and if low energy is part of the problem, start learning a few techniques for boosting it, like deep breathing and singing.
Maybe you have heard the saying, “change your mind – change your life.” How do you change your mind? A good start is to correct your bad habits, one-by-one. Why not work on one today?