As I round the corner on six months into a drastically different lifestyle, one where I direct my time instead of clocking 60 hours for someone else, it is a good time to reflect on the primary ingredient to sustaining such a life. This particular component is the most difficult to master for each of us, but also the single greatest shortcut.
Some of you may have already heard the following riddle. Each time I have read it, I find new energy to invest in the things I don’t necessarily want to do, but need to do the most.
I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am at your command.
Half of the tasks that you do you might just as well turn over to me
and I will do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed,
you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done;
after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people and alas of all failures as well.
Those who are great I have made great,
those who are failures I have made failures.
I am not a machine, but I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a person.
Now you may run me for profit or you may run me for ruin.
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will lay the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I? I am called Habit.