Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Habitual

We all have habits.  Habits in our morning routines, habits in the way we eat a meal, habits in the way we dress ourselves, habits in our daily commute.

Habits are the "greasing of the skids" process our brains use to help us accomplish tasks while burning the least amount of energy.

When we were first learning to drive a car, backing up the vehicle took a good bit of concentration and focused coordination - constantly looking in the mirrors, touching the accelerator, pushing the brake, gauging the progress, looking over our shoulder, again and again.  Tons of mental energy got burned in those early episodes of backing up the car, with a fair amount of anxiety to boot.  Yet, as the process became more routine for us, we settled into habits that allowed us to drive in reverse without burning up nearly as much mental energy.

Some habits, like the ones we use brushing our teeth, are adopted with little or no rational thought.  Other habits, however, require us to invest significant effort and commitment until we get them firmly embedded into our psyche and daily routines.  Such habits might include reading a daily devotional, texting/calling a loved one per day, eating the right foods for our health, NOT eating the wrong foods, spending a few minutes in prayer or meditation to calm the mind.  

Those kinds of habits require substantive intentionality on our part, until we get them firmly established.  THEN, we can reap the rewards as those "greased skids" push us toward our better selves.  

What habits are shaping us into who we want to be?  Which of our habits are working to the contrary?

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