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.
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.
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?
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