Friday, March 22, 2013
pondering the word "habit"
I have been thinking a lot about the word "habit". I've been reading this word and hearing it from a few different sources - just enough to pay attention.
I usually have negative connotations associated with this word: "bad" was always thrown in at the front. I think for this reason it's been difficult for me to label the positive, daily actions I take in my life as habits. I am beginning to consider otherwise.
Author, Maxwell Maltz claims that happiness and success are habits (just as failure and misery are). For some reason when I see and read the word habit associated with happiness and success, it simplifies the process. It removes the ambiguity and complexity of what feels like an impossible situation at times. Bad habits can be broken. If this is the case, can't new habits be just as easily established?
A recent blog post by Brian Johnson looks more deeply into the initial meaning of the word habit. Johnson explains that this word used to refer to an item of clothing or garment. He uses this association to ask these questions: What item of clothing no longer fits? What new piece of clothing does?
I believe in creating everyday. I usually establish creative commitments every month in order to provide a framework for myself. Why don't I call these creative habits? For some reason I wonder if this might eliminate the idea that it's a romantic or glamorous process. Funny. It ISN'T romantic and glamorous. It's a habit. Some days I am tickled with delight to sit down and complete my habit (other days I'd rather not). I do know, though, from a lot of experience, that this habit benefits me - not only in my art profession but in my life.
It has been proven that the more constructive habits we have in our life (the ones where the clothing fits), the better our self image. If you want to improve your self image, foster a habit. It can be as simple as flossing your teeth after lunch. Do this for 3 weeks and see what happens. I dare you.
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You can read a previous post about the habit of happiness here.
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