We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. John Dryden
Popular psychology says that up to 90% of our daily life is habit.
How did you wake up in the morning? Did you press the snooze alarm or jump out bed? Most likely, it was the same way you woke up yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.
The order in which you do your morning routine, what route you drive to work, how you answer the phone, where you eat, what you eat, what you say to those you love, how you spend your evening, what time you start getting ready for bed, what you do before bed, what time you fall asleep. All habit.
Habits are great, because they let us go on automatic pilot and save our brain energy for the stuff we really do need to think about.
But habits are also dangerous. Like John Dryden wrote, first we make a habit. We might make a habit of eating sugary, high calorie food, because it’s easy and tastes good. But then the habit makes us, and making a habit of eating sugary, high calorie foods will make us unhealthy and lethargic.
Start with the end in mind
Who do you want be? Do you want to be the sort of person that people feel good around because you bring energy, enthusiasm, and humor with you? Do you want to look back on your life and feel like the world was a better place because you were here?
Then giving your time, talent, and money to what you care about is a good habit to have.
Create a new habit
What is one small thing you can do every day to create a new habit of giving in your life?
If you’ve ever created a new habit but didn’t stick to it (I think that’s all of us!), check out Leo Babauta’s amazing advice on creating habits.