BY: Adrian Smith
It’s 12:51 a.m., and you have the munchies. You also have a weekly budget you’ve been ignoring to place orders like the one you’re about to. You know the fridge is full of food to make. It’d be much cheaper, but it takes so much time, and you’re not the best cook. This bothers you, but Dim Sum is great, and it’s just this once, you say. You’ll start saving more seriously tomorrow…until the next time you’re faced with a similar situation, and fall back into the habit of spending unnecessarily for immediate gratification.
“How you do anything is how you do everything,” a friend stressed to me, and at first I didn’t get it, but I understand now this saying has to do with the importance of forming good habits with every action, even the small, seemingly unimportant ones. Anything you do, every utterance and each decision directly contributes to the creation of the sort of life you lead.
If you exhibit poor self-control and allow yourself to blow up in one instance, you’re likely to lose control in another. If you allow yourself to be late for something that requires your immediate presence, you’ll likely let it happen again as you’ve, likely unintentionally, made a habit of planning poorly. But you can begin to break bad habits by simply doing that—beginning, starting somewhere, with the next choice you make. You can choose to go to bed a bit earlier in order to wake up at a time that’s convenient for you to leave and arrive to work, or class or a meeting on time. You start to do this enough that it becomes routine, and you won’t need to think about it anymore. It becomes second nature.
It’s about setting a standard for yourself in every situation in order to start doing those things that are inherently good for you—whether that is to become more punctual and as a result, reliable, or being more controlled in the middle of heated situations.
Understanding ‘how you do anything is how you do everything’ helps you take each situation as a chance to act as the person you’d rather be, instead of the person you’ll start being “next time.”