Success is habit forming and each habit consists of several successful steps. When each step is taken into consideration, it forms the whole system of process that we seek to go through to achieve overall success.
Last Friday was the last day of school. The students who were awarded prizes needed to attend school for a prize giving ceremony. I felt my husband’s hand on my back. As I opened my eyes, all my senses started to give me a grand signal. “Daylight!” Oh dear! “Have you woke her up yet?” “No! What! She is supposed to take part in the prize giving ceremony.”
I jumped out of bed, paced up to her room, swung the room door open. I could feel the entire room filled with my anxiety. Almost immediately, she heard me and stood up on her bed, looking really, really, really stunned that she did not hear the alarm rang. I hastened her to get changed. Then the phone rang. It was her teacher. ‘Has she left to school yet? We are about to start.” “Sorry. We are having some problem at home.” I swallowed hard trying not to sound too hurried. How I wish I could just say something else. I hate using that word “problem” early at the start of my day, no matter what the time maybe.
She eventually got dressed and left.
When she came back, she called out a BIG HELLO and gave me a great big hug. Apparently, the ceremony went all right.
My usual reaction after she left school was to start talking to my husband about what had just occurred. This morning, I chose not to. I learnt that being late was not the problem. Like any problem that we face in life, it is only the outcome of a process that is not executed well. When you fail to plan, your plan will not succeed. We did not remind one another the DAY BEFORE about the event. We did not prepare ourselves for the next day.
It may sound mundane. Who hasn’t been late for anything in life? Meetings, appointments, tests, meals, shower, television shows, auditions. There will be many occasions for which we have been late. But do we ever take ourselves seriously enough to change our habit of being late for even the most insignificant appointment in our lives, including going to bed early or using the toilet when we have to? If we have been taking ourselves seriously, why is there Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), a sickness that is developed due to habit of being late for the toilet? Or eyebags due to late nights?
There are two things that might have happened:
- We forgive ourselves for being late and carry on with our plans without thinking much more.
- We get frustrated or embarrassed because we might have caused others to wait upon us. Then we forgive ourselves and forget it ever happened and probably be late again for something else, usually for our own appointments to make up for the loss. Like being late for our meals and bedtime. As long as it does not involve other people, we feel it is all right to be late.
I would like to digress a little bit here. There is always a chain reaction when we do not know how to learn from the experience of being late for something. We learn to become too comfortable with ourselves and everyone else around us that we assume that someone else will take care of things for us when we fail to meet our own commitment. Picking up dirty socks on the floor, sweeping and mopping the floor, washing dishes, ironing, making the bed etc. The list goes on. It does not matter whether we are affluent or poor, we all have to go through processes to care for our environment and ourselves. Some people use vacuum cleaners while others use brooms. Some use the air-conditioners at bedtime while others use fans. Some use have dishwashers while others have to boil water to wash dishes in the sink. Whichever ways we use our environment and materials to help us with our chores, failing to get into the habit of doing them will likely send us failing again at some point. You know it when someone tells us, “Why are the socks on the floor? Who left the dishes in the kitchen sink? Who did not switch off the hotwater system? Why are there chocolate wrappers on the sofa? Why isn’t your bed made?”
Lesson On Not To Be Late
To help us get into the habit of doing what is good, we should write the good habit we want to train ourselves to do clearly on a piece of paper and paste it on our wall. We should read it out loud to ourselves.
Sometimes, we do come up to the list and start to question if it should be up there in the first place. In this case, we ask ‘why do we want or need this change in habit?’. For many people, it is very difficult to answer the why questions to themselves. When it happens to me, I just stare at the list again until some answer comes to mind. Nothing ….Nothing….Still nothing….no why in the head to answer why I need to get into the habit, it can mean one of two things:
1. I am already in the habit of doing that particular action or
2. I am not ready to commit to doing that action.
If you really want it and visualise that you can, you certainly will. If you feel waking up is important to you, try answering why it is important. If it is just to make you feel happy, then don’t do it. It has to be IMPORTANT enough to make you want to do it, No Matter What!
My daughter did say although she was late, it was the right timing as the prize winners were all ready to get on stage. There is a lesson I needed her to learn here.
If you tell yourself that it is good to have been late because of whatever luck that comes your way, you are going to feel comfortable with yourself and will NOT pen down a habit forming action to not be late next time. Why is there need to do better when one is already comfortable? Success is habit forming and each habit consists of several successful steps. When each step is taken into consideration, it forms the whole system of processes that we seek to go through to achieve overall success.