Enslaved by habits

On the epitaph of a noble soul, read the lines

“Herein lies the soul of the one who couldn’t get up at 5, and hence life pushed him into eternal darkness”

Well, that is what the world will put up on my grave. No matter how much I try, I can’t gather myself to wake up at 5. It’s like a curse that seems to stick, with no likeliness of ebbing away. Bad habits are hard to get rid off. No matter how much you try, they catch onto you regardless of what you do. Like a bad case of drug addiction, you initially try , but later when things get hard, you find yourself justifying to why having it is boon than bane. Here are a few tips to avoid bad habits and inculcate good ones :-

The dreaded 5’O clock club

I keep coming across articles which aim to summarise the ideal way to success, and there always lies the point “Be a part of the 5’O clock club”. It seems appalling and in simple ways, absurd to think that the only thing between me and a six figure salary is an alarm clock which doesn’t work that well. Well, this is just me trying to justify things. I am lazy and I know that. I usually get up at 10 on a holiday, with no sense of shame for the lost time. While I was sleeping, the so called 5’O clock club must have already jogged through the entirety of Dwarka(Suburban Delhi), taken a bath, had breakfast and probably in the middle of a movie when the sleepy me walks in on them , smudging my eyes. Well, that basically a scene featuring me and my parents.

Its a shame that I waste my time sleeping, when I can do something productive like writing this article, which btw is being written at 9 pm IST, and not in the morning as planned. If you are like me, and end up sleeping a lot not because you love sleeping, but because its usually dark outside at 5 in the morning, and you don’t like the idea of running in the dark, then high-five.

Post-its 

Again from the diaries of wannabe Bill Gates and Zuckerbergs, the need to manage your tasks is a crucial point. One idea is to maintain a list of what you want to do, a TO DO LIST. Its hard to manage one, and I don’t say that writing it on any piece of paper will help you with achieving it, but then its a necessary step. I as of now, have a piece of paper pasted on the wall right next to my bed. It carries the schedule that I have to adopt during the course of the day. Unfortunately, the schedule starts of at 5:30, hence impossible to achieve. But there is one good thing that comes by it, I do wake up even before my alarm goes off. Call it magic or I am a genuine freak of nature, but ever since I have pasted that schedule next to my bed, I do wake up at around 5:30, lie awake for about an hour wondering whether it would be a good decision to head out in the dark and cold. This deliberation doesn’t help me much with getting out of bed, but certainly exhausts me enough to fall back to sleep.

Avoid ego-depletion 

Well, this term isn’t what you think it is. No, I don’t mean to validate your behavior of being snobbish or acting haughty in front on strangers who don’t know you well enough to see who you really are. Ego depletion is a psychological term and is used to refer to a state wherein we exhaust our will power. If you are wondering how the hell does one deplete their will power. Its not a fuel or food, but just a state of mind. Well, think clearly then.

Will power is a potent force that can make a cripple walk and in your case, help you get your daily chores done. Its all psychological, since what you think on the inside is what you manifest outside. If you think that you can do something, you tend to become happy rather than being distraught and this in turn releases a set of hormones in your body which eases the bodily function and provides impetus to your efforts. So it is necessary that we preserve our will power and don’t go about exerting ourselves over everything and anything that comes across. It would be a shame that you have to exert yourself to get your ass of the bed on sundays to get the grocery from the nearby market. You have to make a habit of things, where deliberation is to be killed, and initiative is to be weighed upon.

So learn to make a habit of things than to force yourself. Will power is exhaustive and should be utilized when the situation requires it.

Delayed Gratification

I am a commerce grad, and recently while learning about financial management, I came across this phrase stating that shareholders of a company may prefer dividends now than in the future. This is inspite of the fact that the company invested in may have a growth potential and may utilize these very funds for capital appreciation. This is true in all the other cases as well. Everything is for now, a job now, money now, pleasure now and nothing for later. Rationality is too obscure an idea, when gratification is involved. Its like being a fly, too enticed by the light emitting mosquito killer. You see the other flies dying as they near it, but then who cares, that white light is so cool.

Whenever we aim to do something it involves a level of hardwork, lot of pain and sweat. You do so with a hope that maybe what you do now, will reap greater dividends in the future. Delayed gratification helps you maintain a level of momentum in life, an inertia which helps you sail through hardships. Its upto you whether you want small bits of gratification, which amount to nothing, or wait and work enough for it to become big enough.

 

Follow the mantra if you want to wriggle out of the quagmire boring life, or you can choose to bash on regardless.