Lesson 19. Cultivate a Daily Practice.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with habits. Sometimes I’m on, sometimes I’m so, SO off. Most of my Twenties, I was off. There were a few years at the beginning when I was a monster perfectionist and obsessed with good habits. I woke up at 5 AM for a daily run, ate a raw foods diet, rarely watched TV or surfed the internet, and didn’t party during the school semester.
In fact, my rule at the time was to always choose the “harder” decision. This came about when I observed that my better self wanted choice A but the weakling side wanted choice B. Back then, it was so direct to implement this practice. The nature of my youth was such that life was black and white, good and bad. I just made the decision and did it.
As I went through my Twenties, my monochromatic life started to gain some shades of gray and color. Things weren’t simple anymore, or so I told myself. Every story had two sides and every truth was but one perspective. In response to this sea of uncertainty, I became more lenient with my regimen and my hard rule.
With the decade coming to a close, I find myself returning to a simpler life. One that is framed by a daily practice. At this point, I’ve distilled habits to those that matter most to me: reading, writing, exercise, meditation, and diet. Despite this, it still has been difficult to stick to it daily. To some degree, I have been avoiding the tremendous benefits of a daily practice.
Doing these 20 lessons daily is the first habit in a while that I’ve kept for this length of time without missing a day. And having done this consistently has opened the doors for what could be possible. Writing for me is my ultimate form of expression. It is my voice. It’s how I parse out my ideas and reflect on my experiences. It’s how I make sense of life and convey that orientation to others. It is how I share myself with the world.
A daily practice is a demonstration on diligence. It is growth and building life. It is willpower and wisdom in taking action.