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Have you ever taken a look at a winner? I mean, really look at them. If you look them in the eyes, study their body language, or pay attention to the way the speak, you’ll notice that everything they do is done in a way that makes them different from everyone else. In The Psychology of Winning, Dr. Denis Waitley defines winning as “one’s own personal pursuit of individual excellence” (8). Winning can be done in any aspect of life: a sport, job, classroom, or even one’s home.
Although there are many traits and characteristics that define a winning person, the most important ones include practicing good habits, setting goals, taking action, and having a burning desire to succeed. The first thing that needs to be done in order to win is to be aware of your habits. There are two different types of habits–good and bad ones. Some examples of good habits include: smiling, going to class on time, waking up early, eating healthy food, practicing good study habits, exercising regularly and being honest with yourself and others.
On the other hand, examples of bad habits are smoking, procrastinating, drinking alcohol, eating fast food, staying up late, and taking advantage of people. “Habits are powerful factors in our lives,” Stephen Covey writes in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He further supports this idea by explaining that “because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness . . . or ineffectiveness” (46). Everyone has some good habits that they practice as well as bad ones.
Good habits are based on principles while bad habits tend to be controlled by addictions. They are things that we do day in and day out, things that define who we are. With that being said, in order to become a winner, you must learn how to control your habits. Winners know that practicing good habits is a key factor on the road to success. Because good and bad habits can both become second nature in an individual’s life, it is better to practice good habits. In order to do this, we must learn to practice good habits rather than bad ones.
Even though it requires a lot of hard work and dedication, “Habits can be learned and unlearned” (Covey 46). It isn’t an easy process to stop doing something that’s been done for so long or to start doing something that’s never been done, but if a person is willing to take the time to forget a bad habit and learn a good one, in the end, it will be well worth it. An excellent example of someone forgetting bad habits and forming new ones is my current roommate, Eldon Chan. Eldon is an average, straight A college student who weighs about 135 pounds.
Over the first two quarters of this school year, Eldon mainly focused on his schoolwork and paid no attention to his physical appearance because he was already thin and didn’t feel the need to exercise. Even though he isn’t overweight, his lifestyle wasn’t a very healthy one. He was staying up late at night and he was eating a lot of junk food. When Eldon went home for spring break, he decided deep within himself that he wanted to change. Over the break, he started going to sleep at 10:00 pm so that he may wake up at 6:00 am to workout.
It wasn’t an easy transition for Eldon. During the first week of this process, Eldon seemed fatigue and somewhat grumpy, but after about three weeks of this newly formed habit, he began to notice a change. He had more energy during the day and because of his regular exercise routine and good eating habits, he saw a difference in his figure and was able to gain almost 5 pounds of muscle. Aristotle asserts that “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit (Covey 46).