I'm supposed to tell you about a habit I wish I didn't have. There happen to be several habits I actually kinda wish I did have, like smoking crack and robbing banks, because I think I'd seem way more badass. But that's not what I'm being asked about.
I do have a shit-ton of brutal habits, but I like to think of them as a series - a scale, if you will - that is very effective in eliminating self-judgement.
First, at the broadest, most forgiving end of the Habit Scale, are the habits that are birthed out of necessity rather than preference. Things you do because you must in order to maintain a certain stability of mind, but that you nevertheless wish you didn't.
- Sleeping in. Getting up in the morning is a slow and cruel form of torture, when burying my head and ignoring the world would be so. much. fucking. easier. On a bad day it takes hours. Every morning is s fresh battle with Asshole Depression, and my greatest line of defense is to take my damn time and preserve my energy. Regardless, I wish I didn't sleep in.
Second, there are a few stages in the middle range of the Habit Scale, but the lines are blurry. It's hard to tell what you can get away with in this mid-section. It's where most of the nasty little habits exist, but where you haven't yet decided if you've crossed the line out of selfishness to where you truly wish you didn't do them. For these habits, you're still in the "I could quit, I just don't wanna" stage.
- Eating junk food. I love junk food and I see no need to quit eating it.
- Picking. There are few things more satisfying than picking a scab, or a hangnail, or a nailpolish chip and I have no intention of trying to stop.
- Making no effort whatsoever to plan dinner before the time at which I would like to eat it. I like the spontaneity of my meals, and until I have hungry children waiting for food, I will keep doing this.
Finally, all your least-defensible habits live on the weaker end of the Habit Scale. What makes them the least defensible? Well, if they make you a hypocrite, I'd say that's the number one tell-tale sign. Or, more generally, if you feel like shit about yourself.
- Like being late. I think being late is so rude, and yet I am always running a least a few minutes behind schedule. Not because I want to, just because I can't seem to help it. I don't even have a good excuse.
- Spending money I don't have. I've gotten really good at this lately, and I assume I'll get even better on our trip to New Orleans next week.
I hope you've learned something here today. I've prepared a diagram of the Habit Scale, for future reference. Please consult it regularly to determine what you actually have to change about yourself. I think you'll find it's very little.