“First we make our habits, and then our habits make us.” ~ Charles C. Noble
“Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.” ~ William James
The word habit originally referred to clothing, something one could don or discard at will. Even today, the word habit is used to refer to specific types of clothing, such as a nun’s habit or a riding habit.
I find the concept of thinking of a habit as an article of clothing tremendously liberating. I am not my habits, my habits are simply the clothing my personality chooses to wear. Yes, I have my favorites BUT I can shed them, discard them, choose to leave them in the closet. It is a choice: I have options. It is, as always, my choice.
We tend to regard our habits more as addictions, as things that control us rather than what we control. Yet they are within our control. We allowed them to form and it is within our power to restructure them. Master your habits or they will master you.
Habits are like fire, they can serve or destroy. The fire in the hearth, controlled and directed, warms and comforts. Fire unrestricted, wild fire, burns down our houses and leaves us exposed and unprotected from the vicissitudes of the elements and the misfortunes of life.
Observe your habits. Think of other choices you can and, perhaps in the past, have made. Know that if any other human being on the planet, living or dead, has ever chosen differently, then so can you. It is within your power to choose. Do your choices serve you?
Think of your habits as articles of clothing, outfits you can choose to wear or not. Imagine yourself discarding an unwanted habit as you would an outdated, out of fashion, or worn out piece of clothing. See yourself leaving it on the hanger, discarding it on the closet floor, putting it in the trash. See yourself selecting a fashionable new outfit to replace it, one that flatters you, brings out the best in you, shows off your best features. Yes, it may be a designer outfit and it may have required an investment to acquire it but, boy, oh boy, do you look good in it! You feel your best when you wear it, you feel confident and in control every time you put it on. You tend to throw back your shoulders with energy and straighten up your posture because this new outfit reminds you that you have what it takes to create the impression and reality you want to create. And that brings a smile to your lips, a spring to your step, and contentment to your heart.
Got any new outfits you would like to try on?