Eliminate Habits

There Are No Good Habits.

Scale-of-JusticeSome may not hurt you. But...

No habits will help you become more aware or attentive.

It's a nice idea though, so let's briefly commend the ideas of breaking bad habits and establishing good ones.

  • Break bad habits to be healthier... New Year's Resolutions ring a bell?
  • Break bad habits to be a better person... sounds nice, eh?
  • Start a good habit to be healthier... more New Year's Resolutions?
  • Start a good habit to be a better person... rich and sexy are always a plus?

One could start a Taiji Class, discover meditation, get into Yoga, or change eating routines, seeking to break a bad habit or start a new habit. Perhaps one attempts to do both: break the bad habit and start the good.

Habit, defined: 1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

What's the Problem?

No doubt some habits have deeper dooming, negative consequences. Some seem quite ordinary or necessary (like looking both ways before crossing the street). But...

Involuntary is the problem. When we attempt to be clearer or intend to wake up a bit, we don't want any movement to become involuntary.

Our forms in Taiji are not designed to create habitual patterns. Forms give patterns that we can test everyday... a pattern, like leaves on a Maple, should provide similar structures, day after day. But each one should also be unique... providing many, many opportunities to nurture insights, to expand awareness, and to change, at least a little, everyday.

Make subtle adjustments in your form: deeper or quicker; make it lighter or slower. Change its rhythm. Whatever you do, let it help you wake up.

Break All Habits: “Brush Your Teeth”

Published by

Steven Smith

teaches people (what about you?) to move with exquisite power and fluid elegance... get access online and visit pristine Montana landscapes.

11 thoughts on “Eliminate Habits”

    1. Reflexes are not “acquired behavior patterns.” That aside, the outcome after the reflexive twitch can be guided… no need to respond habitually…

      Taiji can reveal our reflexes and, when we let it break habits that surround reflexes, it offers freedom to respond.

      1. My reflexes are “acquired behavior patterns.”
        they are acquired,
        they are a type of behavior
        and that is a pattern.

        1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

        that is a perfect explaination of my taiji reflex right there

  1. This is an interesting concept. I hadn’t thought of it quite like this before. My take on this is that we acquire habits of movement so we can respond more quickly. Taking it beyond that to a place where we train our minds to be so much in the present that habits are no longer necessary is absolutely fascinating. Great post!

    John Crewdson

  2. I was watching some TV series called ‘Lie to Me’ about micro-expression. Maybe this micro-expression can be considered as habit, but can it be eliminated?

  3. Good thought… it seems to me though that in this context and since they’re universal, I’d consider them reflexes.

    What a fascinating study for martial arts too, because we seek that calm face, the no-expression.

    That’s a great show! I can’t wait for more.

  4. Thanks Chris, and I’m glad you like the theme.

    I agree: deprogram is a word. There’s far too much programming coming for all sorts of institutions and systems. I’m all for the freedom granted by a de-program.

    Educated spontaneity: I might have to use that phrase. I like it.

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