Addition by Subtraction: Four Point Guide to Eliminating Negative Habit.
We are the sum total of the habits of the day. The good and the bad. As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Even if we like something different everyday, our habit is for daily change. Most of us wake up at a certain time, eat a consistent breakfast, work throughout the day completing familiar tasks and responsibilities, going home to the same house to watch the same news channel, eat a familiar dinner, and follow our nightly hygiene routine to find our selves cozying up to bed at a familiar hour to repeat the same song and dance tomorrow.
We hear time and time again that creating positive habits, especially in the morning, will compound through the months and years to an appetizing, successful destination. That's true. You should fortify your day with positive checkpoints that build into a virtual effortless habit. I hope you're doing that already.
The truth is, many of us have these effortless habits and they are holding us back. We are living life on autopilot going through the motions of negative habits that we don't even see. How reliant are you on these habits that you don't even realize they are guiding your life?
You begin college with treating coffee as a novelty and a study aid only to flash forward and realize you cannot begin the day without it.
You binge watch Netflix before you fall asleep, only to find the late night stimuli is fucking with your circadian rhythm.
You pull out your mobile device, scanning your feeds so intently that you can't have a face to face conversation during dinner.
You have become so addicted to porn that you haven't been out on a proper date with a potential mate in years.
We read and watch countless videos dedicated to building a positive routine to help you yield success. I don't disparage the process of doing so. I myself start my morning with meditation, a cold shower a health bowl of plant based yogurt, reading and journaling.
The benefits of eliminating negative habits cannot be understated:
1. You free up time for valuable creation
Studies claim that the average American spends 116 minutes on social media daily. That equates to 13.5 hours weekly, 54 hours monthly and 649 hours (27 days) annually. That's almost a fucking month spent on social media a year! Imagine just cutting down your usage on social media in half. You open up two weeks worth of work annually. This open times creates a vast canvas for content creation and personal development.
2. You shift to an output over input lifestyle
Negative habits have a way of sneaking up on you and generally involve being brainwashed by external stimuli. You tend to find yourself on electronic devices, doing the bidding of other people, treating your body unhealthily etc. When you eliminate negative habits with positive ones you find yourself in control of the habits. Unless you are a sick and twisted masochist, you will fill this time with things that involve output using your imagination and ideas you feel fuel your purpose in life.
3. Your newly found network will help bring you up
Part of eliminating negative habits requires saying no. This is often hard to do. You say no to friends. You say no to colleagues. You say no to going out on pleasurable events. With saying no it opens your eyes to what to say yes to. When you are handed an opportunity with someone or something your intuition is honed into if this opportunity can help benefit you or not. You'll soon be able to sense who has eliminated their negative habits as well.
4. You progress on the path of fulfilling your duty
"Everything, a horse, a vine, is created for some duty. For what task, then, were you yourself created? A man’s true delight is to do the things he was made for." -Marcus Aurelius
When you eliminate distraction your world opens up. You begin to build positive habits that bring you closer to what you are meant to become and who you are meant to be in this world. This is what we all want, no?
There is only so much time in the day. How much of your time is being taken up by negative habit? Being a creative you know that your time is valuable. Every minute counts in terms of creating work. How much is daily social media scanning holding you back? How much does having that shitty fast food meal right before you go to sleep fuck up your long term circadian rhythm and start in the morning?
A lot of the time we can see that we can gain by subtracting. It takes a deep look inward to see where in life you are taking up precious time with needless and trivial habits. Eliminate these habits to make room for the positives in your life.