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How Our Habits Make or Break us

Updated on January 28, 2016

How our habits make or break us

Our Habits Make Or Break Us

People are often puzzled as to why a successful person continues to be successful, whilst unsuccessful people tend to remain unsuccessful. Like the line in an old song "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The poor, as a rule, do not get poorer, but tend to remain poor, or at least at the bottom of the economic ladder, while the more successful and affluent tend to become even more successful.

I believe the main reason for this is that we are all creatures of habit. The poorer people are as bound by the habits that have resulted in their lack of financial success just as the more successful people are bound by theirs. There is a conservatism of the very poor that is every bit as the conservatism of the very rich. People in general, tend to avoid anything that smacks of change. You would think that the unsuccessful would welcome any kind of change, but they don't. They have acclimatized to their way of life and feel that any change might be for the worse.

A successful person has set up a momentum like a heavy flywheel, and keeps this momentum going through the habits that resulted in it's getting started in the first place. Having formed good productive habits and staying with them day after day, the successful person builds an enormous cumulative success factor; a kind of tidal wave that follows behind and eventually breaks over the person with the force of accumulation. On the other hand, the occasional good fortune that seems to come to the generally unsuccessful in a sporadic hit or miss fashion is the result of their occasional productive acts which unfortunately they give up before they become established habits.

A good effective action will produce a good effect, but the effective acts must be maintained in a daily habitual way if a person is to enjoy continual success on a cumulative basis. The unsuccessful person has not really set anything genuinely productive going or kept it in motion. He will start something rolling and then he will stop and watch while it slows down, loses its balance, and finally topples over. Success is like a rolling wheel with the motive power coming from the person who starts it going and keeps the momentum.

Successful people do run into setbacks and obstacles too; they tend to regard them as minor problems. My father used to say, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens.” You believe in what you are doing and you persevere, the habit of not giving up on a task and yet the experience and wisdom of knowing when to change. Jim Rohn taught, if you keep on doing the same thing without getting the required results, change what you are doing until you succeed, this too is a good habit. Success then is not so much a matter of talent or opportunity as it is of concentration, perseverance and intent. As Sheridan said “The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.” A good habit indeed.

We first make our habits and then our habits make us Dryden

My passion is to help the unsuccessful see the light and to do what successful people do, those that have the desire to do so, for if there is no desire you are probably wasting your time.

To your continuous success, an upward spiral, every day and in every way getting better and better.


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    • Martin Louw profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin Louw 

      2 years ago from Pretoria Gauteng, South Africa

      Jim Rohn, one of my mentors, whenever he read or heard a comment like you have made, would say "Wonderful"

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 

      2 years ago

      Ah, habits...I have had my share of challenges with breaking old habits and forming new ones. I related to your statement about wanting to help others see the light. I am a life coach and I love what I do, especially when I see that light come on in a client's eyes. Great hub! Blessings!


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