I recently told a friend that I was feeling low energy. I knew it is related to my thyroid and, luckily, I knew what to do about it since I have dealt with it in the past.
That day I stopped eating gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and alcohol. It may sound like I am the most disciplined human being on the planet. I am not.
What I am is someone who spent a lot of time building effective habits. I learned how to live without certain things I loved, like wine or sugar. I know that I can’t say I’ll quit them forever but I can commit to quitting them for a week or month.
As one of my clients said, who also happens to be a productivity expert said, Prasanth Nair: “It is easy to do things once in awhile. But it’s hard to build habits”.
Life is always changing and we can’t plan everything or control. We as humans are constantly changing and evolving. That is also why life is magnificent.
I had to learn how to eat healthy. It took me years to build this HABIT. Sometimes I still derail for a long time and eat everything I want (which is everything). But because I took the time to learn how to build the habit, I always know how to get back on track almost instantly.
It the same thing with meditation. After 300 of hours of vipassana meditation, I know how to meditate pretty much anywhere any time. Recently, I fell off my meditation routine. I didn’t meditate at all, even though I knew it was important for my health. That’s ok, it happens and I don’t panic because I know how to get back to it. Last week, I went to the Dharma Center and meditated for 3 hours after not meditating for an entire month.
The biggest work with my clients happens over long steady period of time. I love it when people write me a couple years later and tell me about habits we built together and that they continue to use in their everyday life.
It takes a long time to build habits. When you take time to build habits, you create a toolbox that helps get you back on track whenever you need it. Because you’re a human and you might fall off and that’s life. And it is ok.
My journey of building a habit is usually long and painful. I am learning how to surf now and have been learning for five years. It takes a lot of true patience and compassion with yourself. Building habits usually means changing something in us we do not want to change. THIS hard work is most important work and it makes us a better person, more on this topic from Sam Harris interview of David Brooks.
I give myself 5 years to build habit. That’s right, five years. Be generous and give yourself time to build a habit.
It will pay off as habits will help you to be the best version of you, whenever you need it.