As much as we’d like to believe we’re pretty free from vices or bad habits. The reality is that we are all familiar with at least a few from time to time, whether we like to admit it or not. No one is perfect first and foremost. But it’s also important that we recognise where we may have bad vices and habits that prevent us from performing well or meeting our goals and objectives. In turn failing to recognise patterns of behaviour or thoughts that may derail our best efforts is likely to only result in repeating the same patterns. Religious or not – Lent is a time of the year when many people look to give something up. Not always a bad thing per se. People sometimes people give up a variety of things – alcohol, chocolate, swearing – anything really. It’s an interesting concept because it’s effectively someone looking at something and saying they’ll abstain from that behaviour or action for a period of time. Perhaps we should also look at our own vices. Look really hard at ourselves – which isn’t always easy – and recognise that sometimes we do things, say things, think things and act in certain ways that detriments us rather than helps us.
We’re probably all guilty of the above from time to time. But what if for example gluttony leads to health issues or jealousy and greed drives you to become obsessed with your work at the detriment of your relationships? What if arrogance leads you to think you have all the answers or treat others with a lack of respect? What if anger drives you to say and do things you wish you could take back? What if greed leads you to disregard the law or your own values in the pursuit of more?
Humans are complicated – we’re like emotional icebergs with so much more beneath the surface than the rest of the world gets to see. None of us are perfect and we probably all encounter the above vices on a regular basis from ourselves and in others. But if the above or any other negative habits you’ve picked up become a regular and consistent pattern of behaviour that derails your goals and damages others as well as yourself – why don’t we stop and realise we need to do things differently? If you allow your vices and habits to control your thoughts, actions and behaviours it’s a bit like handcuffing yourself to outcomes. Restrained and no control.