Out with the old…

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the bad habits I want to and need to replace in my life.

A great man, Og Mandino, taught me through The Greatest Salesman in the world that it takes 30 days to replace one habit with another. This bestseller is a must read for one and all.

This weekend I read a narrative about habits, which really touched me. It goes like this:

An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly, he stopped and pointed to four plants nearby. The first was just beginning to peep above ground, the second had firmly rooted itself into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree.

The tutor said to his young companion “Pull up the first plant”. The boy did so eagerly using only his fingers. “Now pull up the second”. The youth obeyed, but found the task more difficult. “Do the same with the third”. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it. “Now try your hand at the fourth”. The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tree and couldn’t even shake it’s leaves.

“This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it’s hard to uproot them, though we try and struggle ever so sincerely.”.

We all have weeds and enormous trees that need to be uprooted, but it takes a lot of effort to become strong enough to move those big ones.

Bad habits have a way to sneak their way into our lives, slowly and quietly. If we allow them to linger, they will soon be so rooted that it will cause a huge internal struggle to remove them.

This is such a short yet powerful little story, but one that had me thinking.

Guess I need to start working on those little critters before they turn into a forest!

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