90’s hip hop powerhouses The Wu-Tang clan were wrong when in 1993 they declared that Cash Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M.). When I heard this song it got me thinking – inspiration comes from all sorts of places and when this song popped up on my playlist my mind started working so don’t hate if you’re not a fan. 🙂 It’s a good lesson so keep reading.
It’s not cash that rules our lives but habits. While I think it’s important to reflect often on the materialistic aspects of our lives and society, today I want to talk about habits. Why? Because habits control our lives. They frame the lens through which we experience the universe. That automatic instantaneous way we react to our partner, co-worker or boss . . . habits! The thought that instantly pops in your head when you screw something up . . . habits.
Many of these habits are born in our early childhood programming … and they are essential to our survival. We couldn’t survive without habits, but they come at a cost.
And that cost is being stuck a slave to them – repeating the same energy pattern or habit over and over again. Did you know that Duke scientists say that we spent 50% of our waking hours automatically, instantaneously, subconsciously reacting to external stimuli? Think about this for a second. That means half of the day we are asleep. I call this place Habit Land.
And here’s the thing about habits, they cannot be eradicated or erased. They must be replaced. To break a habit you have to make a habit … and this not only includes the obvious habits we might have around food or exercise, for example it also includes our emotional habits. This mandates that you have in your life a counterbalance to the childhood programming, self-deprecating belief systems, negative thoughts, compulsions, and addictions that rule so many of our lives.
This counterbalance can come in the form of a specific action that you perform when you experience a trigger and subsequent negative thought. You can immediately declare that thought wrong and insert the right thought, the accurate one, the one that you wish to act upon. Create a Wrong-Thought-Right Habit.
Since the triggers aren’t going away (these are biologically hard-wired) you must actively choose a different course of action and mental state or else remain stuck in Habit Land. Waking up from our habit induced slumber is so much more rewarding.
P.S. Meditation also works wonders – I’ll write more about this soon.