Habits, Beliefs and Values

Being successful in business is all about the actions on the court – what you do every single day. How you use those 15-minute in between periods, what you do when you have free time and how you structure your time. That’s where the winning occurs. In fact, in a recent study, it was shown that people are happier when they finish little achievements every day then when they do one big thing every now and then.  

Makes perfect sense to me!  

Our habits, beliefs and values were established by watching our communities and families while we were growing up. Many of them were cemented in our minds by the time we reached the age of seven. 

Some of us mirrored the habits and behaviors around us. My father read three newspapers every day – the local morning paper, the local evening paper and the New York Times. He loved to read. There were books and papers everywhere when I was growing up.  

I became a bookworm from an early age. I wouldn’t leave the house without a backpack of books. To this day I actually feel safer when I have a book with me.  

Some of our habits and behaviors were created in direct opposition to what we went through in our families. In my family, listening wasn’t highly regarded, especially by my mom. She would often zone out in the middle of a conversation or just clearly not be listening at all. Because I felt the pain of not being heard, I made listening a priority. As a coach, I listen all day long, every day.  

We emulate some of our family’s habits and behaviors – even without realizing it. When I was growing up we watched television during all of our meals. The television was always on in our house. There wasn’t much conversation at meal time. I actually hated that.  

Yet, as adults, my husband and I often turn the television on to watch a show at dinner. I recently realized that despite the fact that I hated it growing up, I had picked up the habit anyway! We’re now in the process of weaning ourselves off of television at least a couple nights a week.  

It’s interesting to look at your habits, behaviors and values – both the ones you love and those that you don’t love – and see where they came from. It helps to unravel the ones that aren’t working and to magnify the ones that are making your life better.  

A great place to start is to ask yourself these questions:  

What habits do I love?  

What habits do I hate?  

Where did these habits come from? Where in my growing up did I see them being played out or overused?  

In my new book, Pause, there’s a great exercise for taking a closer look at your habits, see where they came from and create a plan to change them. You can check out Pause at: www.thepausebook.com  

Photo: flickr, Vladimir Pustovit 

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