Every action trains

Something I’m learning is that whatever I do, even once, trains myself to do that.

When I hit the snooze button the first time, I’m training myself to not get up when the alarm goes off. When I buy a large Coke and guzzle it down in the car, I’m training myself to drink junk.

Now, I’ve known for a while how important the first step can be in moving toward positive skills or completing tasks. The first step, taking that first step, is often the hardest hurdle to clear. From there, all other things equal, the process becomes easier and easier.

If I want to write, for instance, starting is the hard part. Starting enough times, though, makes it easier to start next time. That’s why it’s fairly easy for me now to write on Marshallogue, even though I was scared of it when I first began publishing online. This side of the equation – the positive (good) side – I’ve known (even if I don’t always remember it or follow through with it all the time).

The side I’m just now learning is the negative side. I’m just now learning how important it is to avoid doing the negative things even once, like hitting the snooze button or buying that Coke or whatever. In the past, I guess I’d assumed that as long as my primary habits stayed positive, the one off slips – hitting the snooze once, buying the Coke – wouldn’t matter so much. In reality, though, the one off slips train me, each time, to do those things.

Every action reinforces that action for later. Every action trains me to repeat it. So next time, it’s a little harder not to do it again.