RSS Harness the Power of Your Habits

As I was cleaning out my desk recently to get rid of old files and dated material, I came across a wonderful story I shared with my team members years ago. I think both the riddle, originally written by John Di Lemme, and the related story, provide excellent “food for thought.” Try to solve the following riddle without peeking to the end.

I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed; you must merely be firm. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men.And, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great.Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine. Plus, the intelligence of a man. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a habit!

This riddle was included as part of a story told by a man who loved playing football as a high school student. He shared that while he loved the game, he absolutely hated the first two weeks of practice when the temperature outside was excruciatingly hot. He had nightmares about grueling wind sprints, agility drills and “take-no-prisoner” laps around the field to end each practice. After the first few days of practice, he was so sore that he could hardly get out of bed each morning. However, he found that, over time, the pain would lessen and he’d witness his transformation into “football shape.”

Creating habits is no different. The physical and mental pain can be grueling. Whether you are trying to get in shape, learn a new language, spend more wisely, or strive for better outcomes at work, it will require a change in life or work patterns. These patterns are driven by your habits.

As the old saying goes, “if you want to get the same results you’ve always gotten, continue doing things the same way.” Likewise, if you want to get new results, change your habits. It is never easy, but the payoff will come in the form of physical, emotional and mental enrichment. New habits can lead to new attitudes, which can lead to greater personal and professional fulfillment.

Here’s a toast to the New Year and to the new habits you create that will lead to greater happiness and success!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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