One flaw at a time, people

Someday soon, I’m going to learn how not to overeat. That is my challenge for right now. And I’m going to succeed.

Now, don’t get me wrong; this challenge is a difficult one. But it is just one, after all. I am not attempting to fix all of my flaws at the same time—partly because I know that would be impossible, and partly because I don’t even know what all of them are.

But this one I know about. This is the one that’s affecting me the most right now. This is the one that due to the perspective granted me by our presently experienced time-space continuum looms the largest, like a big old punching bag standing directly in front of me on my path to wherever it is I’m trying to go.

It’s large, yes—it’s one of those wide rectangle ones that take up more than the necessary amount of space. Even more than that, though, it’s ugly. It is crass, and gaudy, contrasts sharply with the natural beauty of the trees and bushes surrounding me. It even has a face painted on it, a red, evil-looking clown face, to signify the personal nature of its attack.

But here’s the thing: It isn’t an army. It isn’t even a real human being.

It is just a crazy-colored clown punching bag, and it is only one.

Also—and here’s the really cool part—also, when I get closer to it, examine it a little (though I’d rather at times look away), I realize that it isn’t even a real punching bag at all.

It is actually just a balloon.

And when I punch it for the first time, it easily yields to my effort.

I laugh. I can do this, I think. I really can do this.

All it took was for me to finally decide that I would.

A habit, then, is nothing. It is just a decision or, at most, a long series of decisions—a big one followed by lots of little ones, but none that are hard to make alone. All it takes is to lift your arm and swing.

And so, here is the secret for breaking an entrenched habit: as long as you keep trying, it is impossible to fail.

As long as your decision remains always the same, success is guaranteed.


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