November 9
Your habits can be your
friends or your enemies; they
can help you or hurt you.

Maxwell Maltz


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes people talk too much about our bad habits, the things we do regularly that hurt us and hurt others.  But we all also have good habits, don't we?  We do things that are helpful and constructive, things that make life a bit easier and a bit more rich, don't we?  Perhaps it's important that we spend some time looking at the good things that we do in our lives on a regular basis, and give ourselves credit for contributing to the positive side of the world.

Positive habits definitely don't have to be earth-shattering in their impact.  In fact, habits tend to be those things that we do without thinking about them, like throwing paper into a recycling bin instead of a trash can, or picking up litter when we pass it, or complimenting young people when we see them, or making sure that we do our exercise regularly.  All of these things definitely do help us in our lives, even if that help comes in the form of just giving us a sense of satisfaction.

I think that one of the problems with habits is that we often don't choose the habits that we choose to make a part of our lives.  We sometimes just start doing things because they're easy, and we keep on doing them because they're easy.  Sitting on the couch and watching TV is definitely easier than sitting down with a book and studying something or going for a walk if the weather happens to be not perfect.  But while that ease can be enticing, it's not necessarily good, and it's important that we actually choose the habits that we want to live with instead of just allowing them to surface as a result of ease.

I want my habits to be my friends.  I want to have habits that make my life richer, and that contribute to the world instead of taking from it.  If I do want such habits, of course, I have to be aware of the things that I do and the results of those things, and then I have to choose between the ones that make my world better and those that add nothing to my life or that take away from its richness.

Questions to consider:

Where do most of your habits come from?  How did they start?

Why do we so often just allow habits to continue without ever considering whether they're our friends or our enemies?

How might we go about starting new and positive habits in our lives?

For further thought:

Know that every bad habit is a thornbush.
After all, how often have you stepped on its thorns?

Jalal al-Din Rumi 


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