‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is a habit’ (Aristotle). Habits are the way by which we grow. Habits like prayer, waking up early, reading, meeting deadlines, not making excuses, sports, eating well……it goes on and on. So as part of effective personal leadership, you need to incorporate the habits that will fuel and lead to your life goals. You also need to stop habits that frustrate the achievement of goals – like spending too much time on the phone, before the television, or eating the wrong things. Without a habit of doing those things that bring progress, you will miss the intended progress.
But adapting to a new habit is tough. It is said that it takes a minimum of 21 days for a habit to form. That journey may be uncomfortable, disruptive and even stressful. But if you can push to incorporate that new winning way into your daily repertoire and get to the end of the period of habit formation, that habit will serve you forever.
This is where diligence comes in. Perseverance in right doing. Alertness and watchfulness over your personal ways. It takes diligence to allow the uncomfortable but needful daily routine that will preserve progress and add to the quality of life. Many people take the easy way out by making excuses regarding why they do not need the new habit, and even choosing the path of corruption. But that is precisely the path you do not want. There is no other route to excellence except in first getting to well, then good, and better, until best. And when you do your best repeatedly, excellence becomes.
So get your shoulder to the wheel. Count. Be watchful. Love the routine that gets the work done. Be diligent with counting. Monitor and evaluate on a consistent basis those situations that can make or break you. Apart from the fact that technology is premised on numbers and data, no sound decision can be taken without an appreciation of the data on the various factors involved in achieving a new target.
And when you are compelled to stretch and accommodate any new context that will aid in getting to the future you want, don’t respond with a disdainful ‘manna?’ Accept the new, and fight until the abnormal becomes normal and the new normal adds to your progress. I wish you well.