Habits can be the best of slaves or the worst of masters. Habits can tie you to activities. The first time you do it, it’s kind of like sewing yourself to an activity. The first time it’s just one little thread, and then another, and then another. But after years, it binds you so tightly to the habit that you almost can’t do anything different, even if you wanted to. 

Workaholism can be a habit we sew ourselves to. Sugar, they say it lights up way more receptors in your brain than cigarettes or heroin. High-fructose corn syrup is another name for sugar. There are over a hundred names for sugar. We think, “There’s no sugar in this.” Then we start looking at all the things that have extra sugar and they are not so good.

I heard a coach say, “If you tell me someone’s habits, then I can tell you where they’ll be in five years.” There are health habits that have to do with your mental mind state and ways that you can ease stress. For instance, are you always late? Do you feel that you’re running late, that you’re apologizing, that you’re starting the meeting off on a wrong foot? Are there ways that you can track that? What are some of the continual reasons that you’re late? Is it because you can’t find your keys? That’s a simple one and so maybe you hang your keys right by the door every time. Your shoes, where are they? Maybe you can find one of them, but that doesn’t do you much good, so you want to find out where both of them are.

if we can manage the basics of life through habit, we can free up time for spiritual practices like meditation, Tai chi, or community engagement.

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