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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Shape of Things to Come

While attending a workshop last week, I was reminded of a familiar quote by Aristotle.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
If we study many of the world’s successful people, read books on achieving excellence or diligently pursue our goals and dreams, the word “habit” often comes up.
Our daily habits play a pivotal role in shaping our character and the success of our lives.
Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy products, speaking on productivity rituals, explains that habits are highly specific behaviors done at precise times so that they become automatic and no longer require conscious will or discipline. Ultimately these habits serve to simplify our lives and reduce the amount of energy we expend on a particular task, thus freeing up our brain to turn to more creative tasks.

Habits can be either positive - for example making exercise part of your daily routine. Or they can be negative – snacking chips while watching late night comedy.
In your company’s journey towards operational excellence, what habits are you cultivating? Are you making a conscious effort to follow those good habits?

Habits Die Hard
From the book, "Habits Die Hard – 10 Steps to Building Successful Habits" by Mac Anderson & John J. Murphy

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest asset or heaviest burden.
I will push you up to success or down to disappointment.
I am at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me.
For I can do them quickly, correctly, and profitably.
I am easily managed; just be firm with me.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of a
machine and the intelligence of a person.
You can run me for profit, or you can run me for ruin.
Show me how you want it done. Educate me. Train me.
Lead me. Reward me.
And I will it automatically.
I am your servant.
Who am I?
I am a habit.

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