Habits: a blessing or a curse?

Janaka Dharmasena  @dreamstime.com

Janaka Dharmasena @dreamstime.com

Have you got a daily routine? If so, does it make your day run smoothly or by contrary, leave you in need of a few extra hours to deal with everything on your to-do-list?

Since launching my company last year, I’ve become a lot more savvy when it comes to setting my tasks. Today I know that achieving more doesn’t necessarily involve working longer or harder, but having an understanding of the habits that sabotage our performance.

Habits can become a major obstacle to our achievements. Particularly, because most of the time we are not even aware of them. They simply take place while we go along our day in oblivious autopilot.

A habit is not just a certain thing that we keep doing or a determined behaviour. A habit is a way of thinking too and it is this one, we must be aware of. A thinking habit can become frighteningly dominant, limiting our perception and affecting our capacity to think creatively.

How many times have you had a new, exciting idea and totally dismissed it because it felt a little crazy or unattainable? The fact is you didn’t dismiss it. Your thinking habit did.

Businesses as well as people fall into the trap of habitual thinking. No wonder a lot of them believe they are not very creative.

Well, the truth is every business is creative. Because every business is the result of the unique idea an individual once had. An idea that was injected with belief and passion and as a result, it grew into the company it is today.

Creativity is our capacity to see things differently. Being creative involves breaking the norm. Getting rid of the burden of the habitual way of thinking that kills the best ideas before they can even germinate.

What’s your big idea for your business? What clients would you like to attract? What collaborations are you after?

Before your habitual thinking runs you through the list of cons, time-constraints and financial considerations, allow yourself to dwell on it, at least for a week or so. Then, commit yourself to do something in a different way once a day. It could simply be sitting at another desk, walking down a new street on your way home or trying a new place for lunch.

Breaking habits shifts our perception and it is in this shift where the magic is.

Next time you get a remarkably spiffing idea, sit down and consider it. Give it a little attention and see where it takes you. It is very likely that will lead you to some scary challenges but that’s just part of the fun of being creative. As Voltaire wisely stated: “No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.”

I’m working on my big idea right now and although it can be overwhelming at times, it also fills me with the most gratifying feeling of exhilaration, and for this, it’s worth all challenges and effort.