If You Shall Have Lain down for 10 days, Get Up And Attempt To Go For A Long Walk, And You Will See How our Legs Are Weakened – Epictetus
When you go to the gym after not going in a while you will see how fast you get out of breath or how you hurt for weeks after one exercise session.
Then on top of that your trying to change all your eating habits as well and you think back
‘Was it really this hard’
Well no it probably wasn’t you’ve just become weaker at it
Epictetus goes on to say
‘Generally then if you would make anything a habit, Do it, If you would not make it a habit do not do it’
My take on this is – If you want to be good at anything you need to practice it every day…
If you want to lead a fitter healthier life, You need to make it a habit of doing so every day – Not just when you feel like it.
If you want to be a better writer – you need to write every day
I could write a list but you get the jist, right?
Because If you don’t make it a habit you will fill the gaps with something else.
I never used to be any good at reading, Until I started reading every day (even if it was just a chapter) – Over time I got better at it, then I stopped I filled the gaps with watching films at work instead and that became a habit (I got pretty good at it too – Managed to watch all the Lord of The Rings + Plus The Hobbit Trilogy in one Weekend 😉 )
But because I had stopped reading, I lost the habit then I lost the motivation to read… Not reading made me stop working towards whatever business idea I was pursuing at the time…
Just like when you stop exercising, you stop eating healthier, Then you start to stay up later and over time you lose the motivation. You replace the habits of going to the gym with watching Netflix and replace the meal prep with ordering a Takeout.
“Everything affects everything else.” Jim Rohn
Just like when you try to walk again and you have become weak – You try to meal prep and wake up early and go to the gym – You find that what you once could do with ease is now a marathon in itself.
Now I try and read every day – even if it’s just a page a day (Thanks daily stoic)
Reading helps with my writing so if I’m reading every day I’m generally writing every day.
If I’m reading and writing every day I’m learning every day and not just sitting there mindlessly procrastinating on Facebook.
Therefore I’m generally getting better at reading and writing,
Just as if you were an artist who practised painting every day – The artist would become better at it.
Everything’s a blank canvas at first – if your not starting something because your not good or have never tried it then you will never be good at it.
You can’t build the habits without the habits you can’t get good your legs will always be weak and your canvas will always be blank.
The Vikings didn’t build the best boats by building one then never tried it again –
They built them, then they built some more, then they innovated and built some to last on the open seas – but from each boat they built and set the sails they got new feedback from what works and what does not and they improved and innovated from their – Just like the iPhone.
But none of this wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t put their brush to the canvas.
Bruce Lee once made an interesting claim: “I fear not the man who has
practiced ten thousand kicks once,” he said, “but I fear the man who has
practiced one kick ten thousand times.”
When we repeat something often enough it becomes an unconscious behaviour –
It becomes engrained in us just like when we drive we automatically check our mirrors without thinking about it.
Repeating the stuff we want to get good at every day is one thing but what about the stuff we don’t consciously know we are doing…
Like getting angry at the first sign of something going wrong or getting stressed when the traffic lights change red.
The more often we do this it becomes an unconscious habit – Not a healthy one at that either.
You need to practice the behaviours you want instead,
Train yourself to give up anger, and you won’t be angry at every fresh slight.
Train yourself to say no to eating