Trailblazing habits: Whatever we do becomes easier the next time

Some days, it feels like trying to stay on a good path, trying to do good things, work towards a better future: it can sometimes become very difficult to stay on this good path when it is so tempting to just give up and do all the bad habits, all the time wasting, just to feel good now.
It’s like all these easy things, they offer us a quick good feeling, and so many of the good things that are actually long-term most beneficial in our lives, are things that don’t offer quite the same fun in the short term.
They tend to lead to better future, but in the moment can be quite inconvenient and uncomfortable.
So how do we maintain these good actions when there’s just so many bad things we can do that are so much fun? And yeah, this is a problem that everybody faces, it seems.
And I think one thing about it is, it sometimes feels, when walking a good path, doing good habits, avoiding bad habits, it often feels like the difficulty of doing so just increases and increases.
And when I’m feeling at a low point, a weak point, and very tempted to go into bad habits, it feels like to say no to the bad habit is something that I will have to continuously resist forever.
So it’s like I could say, no, OK, no drinking and drugs and TV today.
Well, I could avoid it for one day, but then tomorrow I’m still going to want to do those bad things, and then the next day continue to want to do bad things, and it’s just going to be forever and ever.
I’m gonna have to just keep resisting, and eventually my resistance will be overcome.
I’ll eventually have to give up, I’ll be exhausted, or I’ll let my guard down, and then I will give in to whatever is the easy thing to do.
So when we’re doing the hard thing, it sometimes feels like that hard thing goes on forever.
We’ll just have to continue fighting against this implacable resistance until eventually our will just wears down.
And when I have that feeling, then it seems like wow, I might as well just stop right now.
Why bother going through all the difficulty of resisting these things and trying to stay on a good path when eventually I will just collapse anyway?
So one thing I find that helps me to shift that view a little bit is that, on a day when we’re feeling relatively weak and relatively lazy and having a hard time keeping our head on doing good things, it always feels like the difficulty goes on forever, that it’s just going to become harder and harder to say no to the bad habits, and then eventually we give in.
But there’s another side to it.
Whatever we do becomes easier.
Whatever we regularly do, we train ourselves to do that thing.
So if we do good things today, it then becomes easier to do good things tomorrow.
And same if we do bad things today, it becomes easier to do bad things tomorrow.
So whatever we choose to do, we put ourselves on that path a little bit and we make it a little bit easier to continue that path in the future.
It’s almost like cutting a path through the forest or something.
You have this, if it’s a well-worn habit, it’s like the highway. It’s always just like it’s a clear path, easy to go down.
But trying to do something different is like hacking a path through the forest, trying to make a new path for ourselves.
But every day that we spend building that new path, the new path becomes a little bit more developed.
Maybe first we mark the route, cut some of the foliage out of the way, start to get a path kind of lined out.
Then we can clear a proper trail where we can clearly move through it.
Then maybe remove any obstacles in the way of the trail and make a nice clear road.
Then maybe even pave the road and get signage and have a fully developed path.
So we can think of every day, whatever we choose to do, we’re building a road to do that again and go further in that direction.
So when we’re cutting through the forest, it feels like wow, this path is going to take forever.
But then we are making it easier to do the next day.
So rather than seeing it as an endless fight, an endless application of willpower that goes until exhaustion, instead we can see it as the beginning of making a new way, where in the future it becomes easier and easier and more automatic to go in that direction.
So I hope that might be helpful for those who are having a day where they’re having a hard time staying on the good habits.
Certainly happens to me, where some days I just feel weak and lazy and I don’t want to do anything good.
But I try to remind myself that each day of doing something good will get me closer to doing more good in the future.
And every day I don’t go down the path of bad habits, that’s like letting the highway, the big developed road of bad habits, that’s like letting the highway fall into disrepair, starts to crack, starts to get growth through it, and eventually becomes completely overgrown.
So let the bad habits be an abandoned highway, and let good habits be our new road under development.

#habits #goodhabits #badhabits

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