#29 On Automatic Pilot? In What Direction Are You Heading?

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by Mike Lally

Got any bad habits?
We all know that habits are simply what we do when we don’t want to bother thinking too much. So we do them automatically.

Life without habits would be hard to contemplate, wouldn’t it?
Habits provide peace of mind so they are extremely useful.
Sometimes we prefer to put our thoughts on hold and let life just happen.
Life is so much simpler when we do what comes naturally anyway.
It becomes a bit of a breeze and it has to be said, is rather nice.
After all, who wants to think about everything we do?
Hopefully this is the time when our good habits assume control.

Let’s face it, habits give our lives stability.
This is vital in an uncertain world, don’t you think?
But what happens when we want to change something?
Whoops, now a problem starts.
Our habits are not happy!
They resist the process.

They dig in. “Don’t bother with this, do something you enjoy!” seems to circulate inside the mind.
We get edgy.
Before long, the message becomes:
“This is much too hard!”
Tempted, we generally give in.

Habits are anchors.
They keep us solid and in one place; you know, in the moment where life takes place.
However, what can we do about a habit that keeps us in a less than desirable place?
A place that leads to, well, you know where.

So, how does a person become aware of the bad habits that are costing them and then rise up to change them?
What is the first step?
What process can guarantee successful change?

It makes sense to determine where and when a specific habit was first formed.
This is the job of your unconscious mind.
On reflection it becomes clear that most habits are formed early in life.

Conditioning is reflected in the way we behave and is in large part due to the environment where we grew up. Behaviour is learned at a relatively early age.

How often do we sit back and identify the habits we have created?
Rarely, I would think.
What would happen if we did?

If our habits are examined I would expect that we would be a little surprised with the result that many of us would go into denial.
It would be quite an eye-opener to realise that conditioning is a trap.

We are trapped into thinking and behaving in set ways, many of which do not deliver the outcomes we would dearly love to have. And perhaps could have, right now.

You probably know the reason why an elephant remains static and well behaved when it is chained to a post.

Apparently when an elephant is young it is firmly attached to a post and hard as the young Jumbo tries it cannot break free.

The elephant learns that it is impossible to move freely when it is chained and this is accepted throughout life even though it could easily rip the post out of the ground if it so chose.
But the elephant never tries.

The habit of acceptance has been formed.
What is the post? It is an anchor.
It keeps the elephant in one place.

It is useful to pay attention to the anchors we have formed.
As said, anchors play an enormous role in our lives.
However, not all of our anchors are positive.
Anchors either help or hinder.
Anchors are everywhere and they affect all of us unconsciously.

For example, when you watch television and are exposed to an advert, it is hoped that the message anchors a good feeling in you about a specific product.

Words themselves are anchors.
They make us think.
They can cause a shift in our thinking by stimulating our imagination.
They can take us back into the distant past.

An important fact should be acknowledged.
You are actually far more than your habits seem to suggest.
They have been created by you voluntarily or forced upon you over time.
This gives you the power to tear them down if it suits you.
A bigger question then becomes apparent.
What new habits could give you a better chance of getting the outcomes you desire?

Well, why not spend a little time investigating which habits need eliminating and those you would like to adopt instead. Jot them down and then sit back and imagine the good ones are available to you in the present moment.

This is creating the future you want for yourself using the precious gift of imagination.
Looks pretty good, don’t you think?
So, why not decide to replace some of the old habits with something brand new?
Imagine the results!
Then practice the new habit until you become unconsciously competent at using it.

Why allow limiting beliefs to impede you?
This way you are creating the future the way you ideally want it to be.
Now that’s a series of habits worth having!


How well do you know your habits?
Do you really know what they are?
Would you be surprised to learn that some of them may be holding you back?
What could you do about it?

Ask yourself whether your habits were created by you voluntarily or forced upon you over time.
Would you like to tear some of them down if it were possible?

Why not spend a little time investigating which habits need eliminating and those you would like to adopt instead?

Once you know and decide to take action, imagine how your life might change!
Then practice the new habit until you become unconsciously competent at using it.

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