How To Develop The Best Of All Habits

How to Develop Good Habits

‘The best of all habits is the habit of continually striving for improvement.’ -Sir Rowland Hill

In my early school years I was a poor student. I would rather be running around a field with my friends kicking a ball than paying attention in class.

Even as I write about this my memories flash back to two events that reflect how low I had stooped in my capacity to learn or demonstrate a spirit of excellence.

How To Develop The Best Of All Habits

One Sunday afternoon I found myself cramming to finish a project that I had had weeks to complete, but now it was due the very next morning. Then there was the one test that I peered over the shoulder of my fellow student in search for answers that I did not know through lack of study.

Spelling was always a challenge. English was a major hurdle, and math a constant struggle.

However, there was an extra-curricular skill that helped me to develop some backbone in the area of disciplined habits; the habit of daily practice. That came about when my mother decided to learn the piano, and simultaneously decided that I should do the same. I was six years of age.

I was still a lazy student, and in the early years I even failed one of my pianoforte exams. How embarrassing.

Between the ages of six and fourteen there were many times I wanted to quit, especially after the exam failure, but my parents insisted that I continue and forbade me quitting.

Time To Grow Up

On leaving primary school – after repeating my final year there because it was felt that I was too young to progress. Miraculously I landed in the ‘B’ class. Seeing that the classes ranged from ‘A’ to ‘G’ I felt pretty pleased with myself.

I saw no need for change at this point, and so continued on the educational path that I had been previously traversing.

But when I received my grades at the end of that year I suddenly found myself relegated to the ‘C’ class.

It was the shock that I needed to have if I was ever going to develop the ‘best of all habits’.

That year I strove for improvement and topped my year in math beating well over 200 other students, and also excelled in my study of English.

So in my third year I was placed in all the A classes for every subject and stayed there for the rest of my schooling days.

Another interesting thing happened for me at the age of 14. I declared to my parents again that I wanted to quit formal piano studies, and this time they said yes.

6 Months Of Self-Motivated ‘Best Of All Habits’ Acquisition

What occurred during the next 6 months was the following:

  • I purchased music of contemporary artists and began to play their music.
  • I was handed lyrics by an adult friend and wrote my first song.
  • I learnt the art of improvisation and started composing my own material.
  • At the end of 6 months I begged my parents to return me to formal piano lessons so that I could continue to expand my skills.

I then studied classical pianoforte, while still writing more and more of my own material, until the age of 18, and passed my exams with flying colours.

How To Develop The Best Of All Habits

I had learnt that one of the ‘best of all habits’ was to continually strive for improvement – and it is that habit that has flowed over and into my business life, my life as a writer and as a creator of personal development products.

So how can you develop the ‘best of all habits’?

Whatever you find yourself doing today – continue to strive for improvement.

‘Best Of All Habits’ Questions

And here are some questions that you should begin to ask yourself…

  • How can I do what I’m doing better?
  • Where can I improve?
  • Whom can I ask to help me improve?
  • Where can I find the necessary education that will help me increase my current limited skillset?
  • Who can I add to my team to make up the difference for my weaknesses?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Where can I learn this?
  • Is there a mentor I could attach myself to who could help me improve?
  • How much am I willing to invest in myself to improve?

Discover the answers and strive for improvement.

And here’s a question I’d like to hear an answer to: Where is the first area in your life that you can begin improving – and how do you plan to start?