You are a creature of habit, but what makes you human is the amalgamation of your thoughts and actions. We are led to believe that life is this complex series of events that happens to us. If only we knew the truth.
What if things weren’t as they seemed and life was NOT complex, but blissfully simple? Could life be happening FOR us and not TO us?
Our beliefs and thoughts directly influence our actions. It’s through the repetition of those actions to where we establish habits. Here are the 5 worst human habits and what you can do to improve yourself.
Worst Habit #1: Seeking the Path of Least Resistance
We are to blame for this, because we have a tendency to overcomplicate shit. Instead of making better food choices, we choose to focus on the expense of organic, non GMO, or gluten free. Instead of just working out a few days a week, we spend our energy searching for the fastest results in all the wrong places. We convolute the simple with a rationale that serves us best whilst providing THE LEAST discomfort.
If it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, or trying and demands an investment of more time, money, and skill then most of us say, “Fuck it, it’s too hard. I can’t. Why try?”
Lest we forget that all things worth achieving demand effort beyond what we THINK we are capable of. More muscle comes from pushing past discomfort. More money comes from acquiring new skills. A happier life comes from constant growth and living mindfully.
How to fix it: If it was easy, everyone would do it, so let the path less traveled be your guide. If you find yourself struggling, frustrated, stressed, or annoyed, then usually you’re overlooking an opportunity or a lesson. Identify and be attuned to what things cause you grief and find solutions that you can dictate for yourself to acquire a better outcome or skill.
Worst Habit #2: Getting Caught Up with the Paper Chase
They say money can’t buy you happiness, but tell that to anyone who owns a jet ski. All kidding aside, it really doesn’t. EXPERIENCES and GROWTH make us happy, but the things we buy are just that: things. There is no fulfillment in having six zeros in your net worth. You might not feel as much pressure by bills or maybe you’d take more vacations, but true happiness doesn’t come from a padded bank account and mai tai’s.
There’s a reason you hear of people ‘having it all,’ but still leading miserable lives. If all you’ve ever known is the pursuit of making money, what happens when you reach your number? What did it really cost to get there? Who do you have to share it with?
How to fix it: This one starts with a simple realization: that you don’t need the biggest and baddest [insert desired product here]. Good rule of thumb: if it has a commercial, then you don’t need it. Always remember, “the things you own, end up owning you.”
Worst Habit #3: Working for Retirement
If you’re working at a job you love that has retirement benefits and you’re on track to reap them, then this doesn’t pertain to you. For the rest of us, this is a dream killer and a common trap. We all have been sold a bill of goods. This idea of island days and umbrella drinks are NOT what they seem. Without purpose we lose our will to live. With 1/3 of your life devoted to work, you’re bound to feel a great void within.
Even worse, we let the promise of a gold watch and a handshake keep us tied to the jobs we hate. Why should how many years you have in matter? Your happiness depends on what you choose today. Why shackle yourself to anything but meaningful work?
Remember, there is a distinct difference between living to work and working to live. As humans, we thrive on growth and the interests that drive us. I’m not saying to not have a plan or save for your future, but don’t be subjugated merely by time and money invested. Life is too fucking short to spend our lives building other people’s dreams when we have our own.
How to fix it: If our value stems from meaningful work, then we start by asking ourselves better questions. What did you love to do as a child? Was there anything that you were good at or inspired you? Do you have any assets or skills that you can leverage? Is your current work right for you? Is it meaningful? What would make it meaningful?
Worst Habit #4: Indulging Distraction Easily and Often
If you really want to speed up the process of misery and feeling unfulfilled, go no farther than your nearest LED screen. TV’s, cellphones, game consoles, and computers are some of the greatest technologies known to man. Their impact on us as a species has led to some of the world’s greatest and worst innovations, but that comes from a manner of perspective.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” In this case, classifying us as irresponsible might be the understatement of the century. With all great things comes their inevitable abuse. Social media paved the way to bring people from across the globe closer together, yet we’ve never felt so alone and wasted so much time. Cellphones allowed us to talk with anyone from anywhere, yet now we’d rather text than share a conversation or engage with a real person.
Why is it that when things get easier we adapt, but when things get hard we distract? Is the road less traveled really THAT scary? Or is it just so overwhelmingly convenient to turn on Netflix, scroll through Instagram, and burn our days away?
How to fix it: All things in moderation, but sometimes a social detox is in order. The devices and stimuli are meant to strip you of your time. In order to take it back, you have to loosen their grip on you. Whether you turn your phone to silent for a day or go on an adventure without one, you’ll find yourself less anxious and more engaged with the world around you. Test yourself to go longer periods or simply delete your social apps. That new sense of freedom might just be what the doctor ordered.
Worst Habit #5: Believing You Have it All Figured Out
Nothing is worse than leaving no room for growth. We are stubborn beasts. Resistant to change, we prefer to fall into our habits and routines. Nothing solidifies that more than thinking you have all the answers.
In our modern day, it’s trendy to be polarizing. What ever happened to being sensible you say? Quite frankly, it’s too fucking boring. It’s so much more exciting to have to pick either extreme rather than finding middle ground. Plus, compromise is too productive anyways. Fools cling to their beliefs and fight on behalf of them until the end. The intelligent man holds to them firmly, but, when given better information, adjusts his views accordingly.
How to fix it: The fact is, we don’t have it all figured out. So why do so many of us act like we do? Is it out of insecurity? Ignorance? Either way, if we feel we know what we know, then we can never grow. We must break our habits and be willing to be contested as a means of vetting our beliefs. We must be flexible and fight for an open mind as the world attempts to close it.