Super motivation is much more difficult to achieve when we are held
back mentally by bad habits. Trying to move toward the life we want.

But here’s the catch: Bad habits simply cannot be broken. Nor can they
be gotten rid of. Ask the millions who continue to try. They always end
up, because our bad habits exist for good reasons. They’re there
to do something for us, even if that something ends up being
self-destructive. Down deep, even a bad habit is trying to make us
operate better.
People who smoke are trying, even through their addiction, to do
something beneficial—perhaps to breathe deeply and relax. Such
breathing is needed to balance stress, so their smoking is a way in which
they are trying to make themselves better. Bad habits are
like that—they are based on a perceived benefit. That’s why they’re so
hard to just “get rid of.”

That’s why habits must be respected and understood before they can be
transformed. What created the habit must be built upon, not killed. We
must go to the beneficial impulse that drives the habit, and then expand
on that to make the habit grow from something bad into something

Let’s take drinking as an example. I’ve known people who used to be
drunk all the time who are now sober all the time. How did they do it?
Couldn’t we just say that they just got rid of their drinking habit? Not
really. Because, without exception, the recovered people I know
replaced their drinking with something else.
Taking all of one’s courage, relaxation, and spirituality from a bottle of
alcohol is a very damaging habit. But to simply eliminate it leads to
even worse problems: shakes, fear, dread, paranoia. A total void.
People who join Alcoholics Anonymous, however, replace their “false
courage”—once found in a bottle of alcohol—with real courage found
in the meeting rooms of AA. The completely artificial sense of
spirituality formerly found in a tumbler of spirits is replaced by the true
and deeply personal spirituality found in working the 12-step program
of enlightenment. The superficial but highly emotional relationships the
alcoholic had made in his favorite bars are replaced by real friendships.
Replacement is powerful because it works, and where bad habits are
concerned it’s the only thing that works. I’ve known people who quit
smoking without intending to. They took up running, or some form of
regular aerobic exercise, and soon the breathing and relaxation they
were getting from the exercise made the
smoking feel bad to their bodies. They quit smoking because they had
introduced a replacement.

People who diet have the same experience. It isn’t staying away from
fattening food that works—it’s introducing a regular diet of delicious,
healthy food that works. It’s replacement.
Subconsciously you don’t think your bad habits are bad! And that’s
because they’re filling a perceived need. So the way to strengthen
yourself is to identify the need and honor it. Honor the need by
replacing the current habit with one that is healthier and more
effective. Replace one habit, and soon you’ll be motivated to replace

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