As a general rule, human beings are creatures of habit. It’s not all bad, this habit thing. Having good habits brings harmony to our lives–both within ourselves and with others. Habits are a tool we can use to de-stress our lives and clear the air of chaos. Unfortunately, we can develop bad habits, the kind that stand in the way of our progress and potential.
I’ll admit it. I am most definitely a creature of habit. From my quiet morning coffee to my evening handwork sessions, I prefer my days to unfold in a semi-predictable manner. I realize it sounds tedious and boring to many of you, especially if you’re an extrovert. But let me explain how this helps me create and stay open to new ideas.
The predictability factor applies only to the mundane stuffs of living. If housework and chores have a regular schedule, I don’t waste time worrying about when it will get done. It will get done when it’s supposed to. If I know I have certain periods of time when things will be quiet and I will not be disturbed, when I will not be plagued by all the things I should be doing, I can plan that time for the things that require chaos.
Because when it comes to creating, whether it’s with fabric, thread, yarn, paper, whatever, predictability is banished! I don’t want any part of it when I am engaged in a creative project, particularly when I’m conceptualizing and executing vague plans. For that sort of work, I make a habit out of making room for the mercurial, the changeable, the nebulous. For me, this dichotomy is what keeps things balanced.
Your method of maintaining a balance between your work-a-day tasks and your creative time may be very different. However, I’m betting it involves habits of some form or other. Even if your habits tend be on the creative side rather than the mundane one.
Habits can be misused, of course. If we are habitually filling our own minds with self-defeating talk or indulging in regular bouts of self-pity and jealousy when we see the work and recognition of others, we have developed bad habits that are working against us. If we constantly sabotage ourselves so that we cannot even attempt to express our creativity, we are undermining our own potential. There are innumerable ways to habituate ourselves to failure.
Let’s make this a year of good habits, both old and new. Let’s toss out the stuff that doesn’t work anymore–the old ways of thinking, the broken pieces of past failures. In its place, let’s forge new friendships, build better habits and see the world differently. Not even four weeks into 2014…there’s plenty of time to change!