Changing your life by changing your habits
This weekend I was reading another chapter in Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts book. It is a very heavy, deep book. I have only been able to read one chapter at a time and I am journaling as I go through it because there is just so much that speaks, calls, strikes and moves me.
One thought from the most recent chapter I was reading was about overcoming discontentment and finding joy by focusing on gratitude and being thankful in everything and for everything. In the book, Ann quotes Erasmus: “A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.” She then follows with: “The habit of discontentment can only be driven out by the hammering of one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude.” Ann Voskamp
While this book and that quote was related mostly to gratitude, it was a striking thought about habits for me. Habit is overcome by habit. Bad habits are overcome by replacing them with better habits. Whether these habits are eating healthier foods instead of junk food, exercising more and watching less TV, worrying less and praying more, griping and complaining less and being thankful and grateful more or thinking more positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts.
We always say we want to change this that or the other about our lives, but what do we really do about it? Just like the driving out of an old, rusty, stubborn nail that’s stuck in a piece of wood with a new, stronger, better nail – we also have to slowly, surely, steadily drive out old, rotten, stubborn habits with new, stronger, better habits.
Whatever old habits you need to change, focus on finding the opposite or better habit to drive out, push out, replace it with. Don’t give up, keep hammering away. Most of all, consider replacing gratitude for just about every negative thought, emotion or reaction and you will begin to see a huge transformation in every aspect of your life.
Misty Kearns. 2013