Habits eat good intentions for breakfast.

by Mark on November 1, 2012

Every once in a while, you run across a quote that is short but expresses so much. You immediately understand it, and say to yourself, “Yes! Of course.” That’s the way I felt about this quote that I saw on a picture from Hugh MacLeod from Gapingvoid: “Habits eat good intentions for breakfast.

Failure is mostly automatic.

I mentioned previously that success is mostly automatic. This is true, but the other side of the coin is that failure is mostly automatic as well. In other words, the vast majority of our behavior is simply habitual.

It is extremely difficult to do a lot of actions that are inconsistent with your habits. The reason for this is because it takes willpower, and willpower is an exhaustible resource. I believe that we evolved the ability to develop habits precisely so that we could reduce the amount of thinking necessary to do repetitive actions and to conserve willpower for unusually difficult (but generally short-term) actions.

Make your habits work FOR you instead of AGAINST you.

Fighting your habits just won’t work. Your habits will eventually win every single time. Habits eat good intentions for breakfast, and then they barf them up on your new carpet.

“Search your feelings. You KNOW it to be true.”
– Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back) –

Habitual actions are much easier to start than non-habitual actions, which tells us EXACTLY what we need to do. If there is something that you want to do and you haven’t been able to do it, then you need to use the power of habit to make it automatic. Don’t depend on your willpower if your goal is to take sustainable action.

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