Manlius Martial Arts Training Center

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Habits we train...are habits we gain!


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 completely at your command. 
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. 
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me. 
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great men. 
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, though I work with all the precision of a machine. 
Plus, the intelligence of a man. 
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. 
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. 
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. 
Who am I? 

I am a HABIT!  
The author of this poem is unknown as far as I can tell. I have heard this poem many times and it is one of the most important truths in life. As humans we are creatures of habits and our habits will make us or break us. A great exercise is to write down 5 - 10 of your best habits. Next write down 3-5 of your worst. Pick one of the habits that you think would be the easiest to change and replace it with a new habit. Sounds easy but it's not. Decide first what is the stimulus to performing the negative habit. Secondly what is the pleasure you receive from the habit. Then think of a way you can create a similar pleasure in a more positive way anytime you feel the same stimulus. Overtime you will create a new, positive habit in place of the old one. This takes discipline and time. It doesn't happen immediately. In fact double the amount of time you have been repeating the old habit and that's probably as long as it will take to create the new one. 

Unless...

You tie some intensely positive emotions to the new habit every time you repeat it. Really go out of your own way to celebrate the new behavior. The more intense the positive emotion the more quickly it rewires your mind.



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