The other day Melissa and I came home after a day out shopping and doing errands. After parking the car we started gathering our things and Melissa went into the house carrying the first load. It took some time for me to arrange what I needed to haul in but then I headed for the house as well. Upon getting to our door, I turned the knob and found that the door was locked! Realizing that I did not have my keys, I managed to use my elbow to push the doorbell to our apartment. In a couple minutes, Melissa pulled open the door apologizing and said, “Oh sorry! Force of habit!”.
The “force of habit” got me thinking. How many of us do things habitually every day without even thinking about them? I’d guess that there is a high percentage of things we do that are mostly “muscle memory” or habitual actions. Habits aren’t necessarily bad or abnormal, and I say that they are good things if the habits are healthy. Habits enable us to function very effectively in many situations all while allowing our minds to contemplate and resolve other more pressing issues. I believe that these cognitive abilities are part of why we has humans have been so adaptive in surviving on this planet.
In thinking deeper about the “force of habit”, I started to consider some of my own emotional habits. I thought about how many times I’ve slipped into anxiety about a situation and I have really no idea why I ended up there. Or when I find myself in a sort of dissociative state where I’m replaying something that happened until I’m in a full blown state of depression. These things seem to happen to me even without much intent or proper cause. What if these two states of emotion are more about being a habit and less about being mentally or physically ill?
As I’ve been growing in my awarenesses around my depression and anxiety, I’ve been noticing that their cause isn’t just from once single source. I’m finding evidence that mine has been related to physical stresses, emotional trauma, energetic sensitivity and even past life events that have carried forward. I’m realizing that working through the issues of these emotions is not necessarily solved by doing one thing. I believe we all need to be open to all possibilities that may be a source of whatever we are struggling with in our lives.
In doing a very quick and informal Google search on creating habits, it says that it can take about 2 months to create a habit. While this might be true for some things, I believe that a habit can start as soon as you decide it should exist. Granted it might be a bit bumpy at first, but I think it can be done rather quickly if sufficient intent is placed on the habit. I think the human mind is so powerful that once we decide something and fully commit with a clear vision, we will implement this change almost immediately in our lives.
Recently I committed to myself that I wanted to evolve my habit of anxiety into a healthy state by the time I turn 54 years old (coming in May 2019). What I found is that this simple act of seeing the Vision or end point, Deciding, and then Committing (VDC) to it, everything starts to shift into accomplishing that goal. I’ve found that articles I read, people who talked with me, and communications I receive, all started to move me in that direction. The other part of the VDC is connecting it to honoring yourself. If you honor yourself through committing to the goal, then your chances of reaching it multiply rapidly in your favor.
The “habit force” is just another tool in your arsenal that you can now use and leverage to fulfill whatever dream or goal you have. Consider it’s power and how it can help you, but remember what Stan Lee said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Use it wisely my friends.
Dwight J. Raatz
February 26, 2019
One Reply to “Force of Habit”
Our mind is most certainly a very powerful tool that can be used to our utmost benefit or our strongest weakness. It’s in awareness, allowing, and picking oneself up when we take a step back that true growth resides. I am encouraged by the challenge.