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Have you ever heard the legend of the “Touchstone”? The Touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. As legend has it, the Touchstone was on the shores of the Black Sea lying amongst thousands and thousands of other pebbles, which looked exactly like it. But here’s the secret; the real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So, this man sold his few belongings, bought some supplies, camped on the seashore and began testing stones. He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again, he could end up picking up the same pebbles over and over again, so when he felt one and it was cold he threw it into the sea. Well, he spent one day doing this without finding the touchstone, then a week, a month, a year, and then three years no touchstone! Still he continues on pick up a stone and when it’s cold throw it into the sea. And on and on and on until one morning he picked up the pebble and it was warm he threw it into the sea. It was a habit now, picking up pebbles and throwing them into the sea. This was his habit, so when the one he wanted came along he still threw it into the sea.

Changing habits that no longer serve you or are inconsistent with the person that you want to be is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, and one of the most important to the quality of your life. Your habits can be major obstacles to your becoming the kind of person you want to be. Habits that shape your thinking, feeling, talking and behaving are often roadblocks that stand between where you are today and where you want to go. They sort of keep you “running in place”.

Habits are only good as long as they serve you, as long as their effect is to continually enrich and improve your life. Success and failure are largely the result of habit, in other words, the ways in which you automatically respond to what’s going on around you. It isn’t always easy to change our habits, but it is very possible. We are never stuck with habits. Old negative or unproductive habits may be tenacious, but are not invincible. Always think positively about yourself and your situation and about your ability to change it. Mental discipline in this area is key and the rewards are great.

Remember, bad habits are easy to form, but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form, but easy to live with. Our job, yours and mine is to form good habits and make them our masters or we will forever remain slaves to our bad ones.

Mack Newton

Copyright Mack Newton. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.