We all know about the seven famous habits that are touted to launch your eternal success, if you will only adopt them.
In the interest of equal time for the opposition, we should also consider – nay, closely scrutinize – the habits we naturally have, as opposed to those we wish we had, and how these often unpopular but universal human propensities can help us.
Killed the cat, right? Childrens’ curiosity embarrasses us and being inquisitive is all but taboo in adult social situations. Mysterious and irresistible, this natural force has a great deal to do with mental health. When you’re curious, you’re connected.
For the most part, we’re on the fence about the social acceptability of this trait. We like passion as long as it remains entertainment. We like to be shocked just the right amount, no more. Passion is being out of control, a flagrant pursuit that dominates all perceptions, and can lead to self-transcendence. Despite our endless efforts to maintain a firm grip, it’s those moments when the heart rules that have the most meaning in our lives.
This seems a sad word, calling to mind forsaken lovers or exile from home; those who have nothing to yearn for are seen as successful in our economy. To yearn is to want something enough to sacrifice for it. Such dedication is not possible without that persistent itch, an inner need that won’t leave you alone.
Another extremely prevalent habit, again we’re ambivalent about it, and only allow a certain observable amount of it before censure. A habit of ire is exceptionally healthy if it’s managed properly; anger teaches you where your challenges/opportunities lie; those who don’t get angry are not connected either internally or externally.
At the level of obsessive compulsive disorder, your fixation on ‘the rules’ or ‘doing it just right’ could be harmful. But at a less intense level, this neurosis is a common trait of highly creative people, and a hugely effective tool when used appropriately for self-and work-improvement.
The lengths to which we’ll go to avoid this dread mood! Boredom is often seen as the root of all evil in an achievement-oriented world. Without boredom, none of the other six traits are possible. When we’re being chased by tigers, the only useful natural instinct is flight. But when we have options, boredom is where we start to see our true, unaffected personalities.
People ‘tsk’ when the young folk fly the coup, when a marriage breaks up, when someone dumps a respectful job for something new. It’s not good form to give in to the call of the wild. A corollary to boredom, restlessness is what makes the river flow and the wind blow. It gives people the courage to take risks, which is necessary for growth.
So go ahead. Break out of the old taboos, stop stifling your true self, do the creative thing and work with what you have. Use your habits, whatever they may be. Just recognize that they are habits, and then have your way with them. They can lead to amazing treasures!