Build Great Habits (And Bust Some Bad Ones)
Best-selling author, John Grisham, was a practicing defense lawyer in 1984 when he began writing his first novel, A Time to Kill. Because his job demanded 60 to 70-hour weeks, he came to work several hours early for three years to work on the book. Some mornings it was the last thing he wanted to do, and no one was forcing him (only his wife knew about it). Still, he did it, and three years later he had a book that no one wanted to publish. By that point, though, the habit of writing every morning was so strong that he started his next book, The Firm, the very next day.
Big accomplishments, and the habits that bring them, don't come quick or easy. But the rewards can be phenomenal. Grisham, for instance, has written 23 bestsellers and sold over 250 million copies worldwide. Here are some firm habit-building (and busting) tips.
Shine a light
Bad habits steal our life; they sneak and tempt and deceive and betray us from the shadows. The best way to bust them is to call them out. Confront them in the full light of day. Be honest with yourself: what actions and thoughts repeatedly, reliably, predictably keep you from going where you want to go, keep you from being who you want to be? Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, gluttony? Others? They're safe in the dark, and they know it. Open up. That's first.
Summon the hero-habit
Are they shaking in their boots yet? Not likely. Our bad habits got us where they want us, don't they? They're easy and comfortable and so deeply entrenched in our lives that they know it's going to take a hell of an effort to wrench them out. Our most powerful weapon is a good habit, a hero-habit, to go toe-to-toe with the villain: like a steely-eyed Clint Eastwood riding into that lawless frontier town. How do we summon such a hero-habit? Heroes fight for a cause, a purpose, a mission, something to fortify the courage and determination they need to defeat the bad guy. We have to be really clear about where we want to go, who we want to be, and we have to really mean it. Bad habits ride roughshod over listless, timid souls with half-hearted goals, and our hero is apt to ride on past.