Habits, they define who you are.
The older I get the more I believe in that statement.
I think about it during my morning rituals. I have a very set way of doing things each morning, even to the point of how I lay out my toiletries.
My deodorant always goes on my left and my razor, toothbrush and dental floss are laid out in that order to my right with the mouthwash behind them. They are laid out in the order in which they are used.
Twelve strokes with the deodorant as the water is filling the basin, then I reach for two Q-tips and clean my ears just as the water in the basin is at the proper level for shaving. Then it’s shave, brush my teeth, floss and mouthwash. And while I’m swishing the mouthwash around in my mouth I clean the mirror and the sink. Finally I comb out my beard.
It’s quite the routine.
Now I’m not that obsessed about it. If something gets out of whack I don’t have to start over. I just pick it up at a good spot and finish. Then I hope that nothing goes wrong that day because I broke my morning routine.
What this habit does is it helps me make sure I do everything that’s important to me and my overall health. Some mornings my mind may be on other things but the habit keeps me on track.
When I played gigs, sometimes after the gig there would be some well intentioned but well intoxicated soul who thought they were being of service by wanting to assist me with my tearing down, packing and loading my kit. I usually talked them out of it but there would be that one gig where they just wouldn’t take no for an answer.
One of my worst fears when gigging would be getting home and realizing I left a couple hundred dollars of gear lying on some bar room floor never to be seen again. So I have developed the habit of breaking down and packing my drums in a precise order.
That way as I am driving home and the fear that I have forgotten something comes across my mind, I can run through my packing routine, my packing habit, and reassure myself that I have everything loaded up in the truck. Why wouldn’t I, I probably quadruple checked before I left.
But when that well intentioned individual helps, well now I’m just not 100 percent sure I packed everything. There were times on the way home where I had to pull over and double check.
My habits certainly define me. I am not one to leave things to chance. I like to have a plan, a well thought out plan, usually a written plan, and then execute the plan and monitor the results.
I am not a seat of the pants kind of guy, but if I am forced into that situation I can function. My planning habits will kick in and take over and structure the situation.
Habits, it’s all about habits.
If you want to become good at something it doesn’t matter how much God given talent you have, you still have to develop a practice habit.
How many times do you hear it said about star athletes, musicians or actors that they are the first to practice and the last to leave, they are always working to improve.
Those stars have defined themselves by their habits.
Some people develop the habit of going to the mailbox and collecting a check. They’ve developed the habit of living off of others. That habit defines who they are.
A person who doesn’t develop good hygienic habits is, well they‘re a dirty person.
So if you want to know who you are look at your habits. They define you as a person.
If you want to change who you are, look at your habits and change them.
If you want to be a writer, write and get in the habit of writing. I you want to be a musician, practice and play and get in the habit of practicing and playing.
If you want to be a great lover, you know what to do.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.