Breaking Steel and Shattering Glass

I once read a theory that humans are nothing more than a conglomeration of countless habits. This is likely an oversimplification, but the power of habit is undeniable. Each tiny little habit steers us to a destination, our good habits bringing us closer to the person we want to be in life, and our bad habits veering us off course. 

The tricky thing is that comparing one habit to another can sometimes be like comparing apples and oranges. For me, breaking bad habits can be incredibly challenging, but good habits disintegrate with the slightest amount of neglect. These two classes of habits seem to be fundamentally different in some way.

For me, bad habits are often effortless to form. They come about mindlessly, simply popping up out of nowhere. If I lose focus for even a few weeks, I automatically start eating poorly, increase my screen time, or begin staying up too late at night. And once a bad habit is formed, watch out. My bad habits are made of steel, and I have to put all my energy into melting and pounding them down. I feel like a workman who labors away at dismantling my negative habits. Then, when I finish the job, I immediately find another piece of steel that I need to meltdown. It seems as though it never ends.

On the other hand, forming good habits requires my focused energy, effort and mindfulness. And once I’ve put all that energy into creating a good habit, they’re still exceptionally fragile. Unlike my bad habits, my positive habits are made of glass. I have to handle them with care and nurture them, or they’ll end up as a pile of shards on the floor. I can’t count how many times my positive habits have disintegrated under the weight of an unexpected life event or even something as small as a week’s vacation. 

If you are anything like me, this presents some big challenges. So what can we do about it? 

We can accept that anything worth having takes hard work and dedication. There is no easy path to fulfillment and purpose. And we can realize that the ultimate measure of a person is who we become in this indescribable journey called life. 

So we grab our proverbial hammer and blow torch and get to work with the never ending task of dealing with our bad habits. And we put on our cotton gloves to delicately handle and nurture our good habits, slowly acquiring more and more beautiful pieces of glassware. And if we do the hard work every day of building a better version of ourselves, we will constantly move just a tiny bit closer to the person we want to be. It isn’t easy, but there is nothing more important or rewarding. 

Now let’s get to work…

– Andrew

P.S. — I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for every person who reads this. I would really love to hear if this triggered any thoughts for you, whether good or bad. Did I swing and miss on this post? Let me know. Did this post make you think about some aspect of life differently? I’d love to hear it. I am on a journey of self-improvement, so your feedback is priceless. Also, if you know anyone who may enjoy this, please feel free to send it along to them. Lastly, you can subscribe to get notified whenever I publish something new by clicking here. Many thanks for your time and attention, and best wishes on your life’s journey.

2 Replies to “Breaking Steel and Shattering Glass”

  1. Thank you. Great observation about the challenge of getting good habits to stick and the ease of learning/falling into the ruts of bad habits.
    The length of your pieces seem just right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *