How To Develop The Best Of All Habits

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‘The best of all habits is the habit of continually striving for improvement.’ -Sir Rowland Hill

In my early school years I was a poor student. I would rather be running around a field with my friends kicking a ball than paying attention in class.

Even as I write about this my memories flash back to two events that reflect how low I had stooped in my capacity to learn or demonstrate a spirit of excellence.

One Sunday afternoon I found myself cramming to finish a project that I had had weeks to complete, but now it was due the very next morning. Then there was the one test that I peered over the shoulder of my fellow student in search for answers that I did not know through lack of study.

Spelling was always a challenge. English was a major hurdle, and math a constant struggle.

However, there was an extra-curricular skill that helped me to develop some backbone in the area of disciplined habits; the habit of daily practice. That came about when my mother decided to learn the piano, and simultaneously decided that I should do the same. I was six years of age.

I was still a lazy student, and in the early years I even failed one of my pianoforte exams. How embarrassing.

Between the ages of six and fourteen there were many times I wanted to quit, especially after the exam failure, but my parents insisted that I continue and forbade me quitting.

Time To Grow Up

On leaving primary school – after repeating my final year there because it was felt that I was too young to progress. Miraculously I landed in the ‘B’ class. Seeing that the classes ranged from ‘A’ to ‘G’ I felt pretty pleased with myself.

I saw no need for change at this point, and so continued on the educational path that I had been previously traversing.

But when I received my grades at the end of that year I suddenly found myself relegated to the ‘C’ class.

It was the shock that I needed to have if I was ever going to develop the ‘best of all habits’.

That year I strove for improvement and topped my year in math beating well over 200 other students, and also excelled in my study of English.

So in my third year I was placed in all the A classes for every subject and stayed there for the rest of my schooling days.

Another interesting thing happened for me at the age of 14. I declared to my parents again that I wanted to quit formal piano studies, and this time they said yes.

6 Months Of Self-Motivated ‘Best Of All Habits’ Acquisition

What occurred during the next 6 months was the following:

  • I purchased music of contemporary artists and began to play their music.
  • I was handed lyrics by an adult friend and wrote my first song.
  • I learnt the art of improvisation and started composing my own material.
  • At the end of 6 months I begged my parents to return me to formal piano lessons so that I could continue to expand my skills.

I then studied classical pianoforte, while still writing more and more of my own material, until the age of 18, and passed my exams with flying colours.

I had learnt that one of the ‘best of all habits’ was to continually strive for improvement – and it is that habit that has flowed over and into my business life, my life as a writer and as a creator of personal development products.

So how can you develop the ‘best of all habits’?

Whatever you find yourself doing today – continue to strive for improvement.

‘Best Of All Habits’ Questions

And here are some questions that you should begin to ask yourself…

  • How can I do what I’m doing better?
  • Where can I improve?
  • Whom can I ask to help me improve?
  • Where can I find the necessary education that will help me increase my current limited skillset?
  • Who can I add to my team to make up the difference for my weaknesses?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Where can I learn this?
  • Is there a mentor I could attach myself to who could help me improve?
  • How much am I willing to invest in myself to improve?

Discover the answers and strive for improvement.

And here’s a question I’d like to hear an answer to: Where is the first area in your life that you can begin improving – and how do you plan to start?

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