In this fast-paced interconnected world, it is easy to get stuck in habits that really don’t do us any good. These habits slow us down, make us feel bad and can unintentionally hurt others. We have collected a list of 12 habits we think should be a thing of the past.
- Sending angry emails
Receiving an unfriendly or angry email can really ruin your day. We all know this. Yet, it can be so tempting in the heat of the moment to pound the keyboard and get all that anger into a craftily worded email that stabs right to the reader’s heart. The easiest way to stop this habit is to write a draft email when you are angry. Save it and do not send it until you have re-read it a few hours later when you are a little calmer and have gained more perspective on the issue. Then perhaps you will see the best action is to delete the unsent email.
- Giving unsolicited advice
Just like an unfriendly email, unsolicited advice can really be hurtful. If someone has not asked for your ideas or suggestions on something, maybe there is no need to tell them your thoughts. It can come across as arrogant and misplaced. Especially if you are trying to give advice to someone you hardly know. Keep it to yourself and be ready to share only if you are asked to.
- Trying to please everyone
Abraham Lincoln said this best
‘You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.’
So, stop trying so hard to keep everyone happy and know that for a lot of the time, you will be succeeding in keeping most people happy. Good enough.
- Comparing yourself to others
It is easy to look only at other people’s lives on our social media accounts and think everyone looks happier, wealthier, skinnier or more adventurous than us. We can start to think that what we have is not good enough. Time for a little perspective:
If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.
If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.
- Holding grudges
The problem with holding a grudge is that it requires a whole lot of energy to keep up. You have to remember at all times why you are so upset with the other person, you need to continue to go out of your way to show your displeasure and you have to avoid them at all times. What an effort! Perhaps this energy could be better directed elsewhere. Like, perhaps towards making a change in the world.
- Mindless TV watching
It is only force of habit that sees us slump down on the sofa and flick through the TV channels now. If you want to watch something you can now stream it at a time that suits you. If you still find yourself wasting time flicking through channels on a TV and sitting through ads, you really need to find something else to do with your time.
- Repetitive phone checking
Your phone has alert sounds. It makes sounds when a message comes in. There is no need to keep looking at it. We have got used to looking at our phones when we are in semi-awkward situations. Like waiting in a queue, sitting in a waiting room, or basically anytime we are in close contact with strangers and are at a loss for anything else to do. Stop spending so much time looking at your screen and look around you.
- Talking down to yourself
Phrases like “I can’t do . . .,” “I’m not good at . . .” and “I don’t know how to . . .” only serve to focus us on our shortcomings and question our abilities and self-worth. Instead, change the way you talk to yourself. Talk in a way that is empowering and solution-oriented. Remind yourself that you have the skills and talents you need. And, what you don’t have, you can learn.
- Kicking yourself for something you should have / shouldn’t have done
Stop fixating on the past. Remove shoulda, coulda, woulda from your vocabulary and let’s move onwards and into the next point.
- Procrastinating about a goal.
Get on with attaining a goal you have wanted for a long time. If you really want to achieve this goal, just start. Start small, start with one step. As one famous quote says, it only takes one step to start a journey, or as in an ancient Chinese proverb;
A man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones
- That one bad habit you have always wanted to quit
It could be quitting smoking, reducing alcohol, changing your diet, whatever that habit is that you want to stop. Now is the time to stop doing that one thing that your future self will thank you for.
- Thinking micro.
Our final item on our list is to stop thinking that your words and actions have no impact on others’. In this interconnected world, micro thinking is outdated. For better or for worse your actions and your words do have an impact on the world around you. If nothing else from this list, take away the idea that what you say and do can have an impact far beyond you. This is a powerful realization, so let’s use it for good.
Let’s stop waiting for a better world,
Let’s start working on one together.