Sometimes it’s not what you do – but what you STOP DOING that matters.
Addictions, approval seeking, arguing, defense mechanisms, gambling, lying, time wasting, and more.
These are the 10 BAD HABITS TO BREAK!
Arguing with people is one of the dumbest things you could possibly do.
Arguing with most people is like arguing with a brick wall. You will just get angry and frustrated as they refuse to listen to reason and nothing at all will change.
Before you even consider arguing with anyone know this…
- Are CLOSED MINDED
- REFUSE to listen to reason
- Will NOT follow the evidence where it leads
- Will NOT change their minds no matter what you say
- Will NOT admit they’re wrong even when they know they’re are
Isn’t this true in your own experience?
“If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?” – Sam Harris
You cannot use logic to convince someone who isn’t logical.
You cannot use reason to convince someone who isn’t reasonable.
Don’t argue with anyone about anything. It’s pointless. Most people are closed minded and won’t change their minds no matter what you say, no matter how much evidence or proof you might have.
Even when you ‘win’ an argument still no one changes their minds:
“I don’t care what you think!”
“Look, I don’t know why (insert belief) is true exactly, but it is OK?”
Sometimes people even agree with you:
“Actually, I think you’re right…”
“You do have a point…”
“I guess I’d never thought of it that way before!”
But then a few days later you see them back to their old beliefs and behavior. Their thinking doesn’t change, their opinions don’t change, and their actions don’t change. Nothing changes. It’s like you never had the argument in the first place.
Listen: If logic and reason were the best ways to influence and persuade people advertisers and the media would do it. But they don’t. Instead they use emotions and feelings to manipulate you because they know that most people don’t make decisions logically, but emotionally, as a way to either gain pleasure or to avoid pain.
I hope I’ve convinced you not to waste time arguing. There really is no point. It just doesn’t work.
If you disagree, tell me this:
How many times have you really changed someone’s mind through an argument?
Even if the answer is ‘once’ or ‘sometimes’, what about the hundreds of hours you’ve wasted arguing with closed minded idiots that were never going to change their mind no matter what you said, no matter how much evidence or proof you had?
Isn’t it obvious that even the best arguers and debaters have less than 0.1% success rate of changing people’s minds?
And if you’re still not convinced despite everything I’ve just said: I guess your mind must already be made up. I won’t waste time arguing with you about it.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” – George Carlin
9. Approval Seeking
Are you an approval seeker?
Do you need everyone to like you?
I was an approval seeker both as a child and as a teenager. I was eager to please and I thought that the way to get other people to like me was to be overly agreeable and to seek rapport at all costs.
But it didn’t work.
People saw me as friendly, but also as insecure and needy (which I was) which meant that they didn’t respect me or see me as an equal.
It wasn’t until I was 26 that I read a book on PUA (Pick Up Arts) that I learnt that I didn’t need to qualify/justify/explain myself to anyone about anything.
This was quite a revelation to me.
I didn’t need to answer questions?
I didn’t need to explain myself?
I didn’t need to justify my decisions?
I suddenly realized that by seeking approval and validation from others I was giving my power away, and even many of my so called ‘friends’ were using my insecurity and neediness against me as a weapon to use and manipulate me.
I felt so angry and disgusted the moment I realized what I’d been doing that I vowed never to seek approval from ANYONE ever again no matter who they were: friends, family, bosses, colleagues, women, strangers – anyone.
Before I had always bent over backwards for people.
I was super friendly to everyone I met.
I treated them the way I wanted to be treated.
But from that moment on I vowed never to seek approval from anyone ever again – no matter who they were.
How about you?
Are you an approval seeker?
If you’re not sure here are some approval seeking behaviors to watch out for:
- Attention seeking behavior
- Asking permission when it’s not needed
- Apologizing without reason
- Being overly loud
- Being overly agreeable and seeking rapport at all costs
- Being overly concerned with the opinions and viewpoints of other people
- Dressing in such a way that is likely to draw attention to you
- Fishing for compliments
- Forcing complimentary attributes/stories about yourself into conversation
- Laughing at things that aren’t funny
- Posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram etc. that you know are likely to result in lots of compliments and ‘likes’
- Trying to be someone you’re not
It’s no surprise that most people live for the approval of others either.
Advertisers, Hollywood, and the media, have done a brilliant job of brainwashing the masses into believing that the approval of others is everything and that without it we’ll never truly be happy or fulfilled.
According to Hollywood and the media happiness doesn’t come from within, it comes from other people and what they think of us.
How can you be happy without the approval of other people?
It is they who will ‘make’ us happy!
Here’s the thing:
Everyone wants to be loved. I know that.
We all do.
But here’s why you SHOULDN’T seek approval from anyone:
When you seek approval from others you give them power over you. They’ll then have the ability to manipulate and use you and make you feel like crap at a moment’s notice whenever they feel like it.
In other words you’ll become their bitch.
And what if you seek approval from someone and they refuse to give it?
What are you going to do then? Feel like crap forever?
Do yourself a favor: Drop all attachment to what other people think, say and do, and don’t feel the need to answer/explain/justify/qualify yourself to anyone.
- You are not inferior to anyone
- You are not less than anyone
- It’s not your job to make anyone happy
Unless you’ve made a promise or signed a contract you don’t ‘owe’ anyone anything.
What I didn’t realize when I was younger is this:
If you approve of yourself – others will approve of you too.
If you like yourself – others will like you too.
If you respect yourself – others will respect you too.
Chuck Norris approves this message:
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu
8. Lying to yourself and others
I HATE lying.
However it seems that I’m in the minority.
“I want to say something to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman. I never told anybody a lie. These allegations are false.” – Bill Clinton
“We’re just friends” – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
“No sex until marriage” – Britney Spears
“I don’t do drugs” – Paris Hilton
“There is no sex tape” – Kim Kardashian
“I’ve never doped. I’m a natural athlete” – Lance Armstrong
“I’m faithful” – Tiger Woods
Why do people lie?
- To get what they want
- To get out of something they don’t want to do
- To avoid taking responsibility
- To avoid embarrassment and save face
- To avoid having to do someone else a favor
- To avoid hurting someone else’s feelings
- To sound important/impressive
- To fool/trick/manipulate you
- To influence/persuade you
- To play dumb
- Because they’re afraid and want to avoid punishment
- To spare someone’s feelings
However lying isn’t needed nearly as much as most people would like to believe.
Are you a liar?
Most people lie to themselves all day long about everything.
Here are some common lies we tell ourselves:
- I’m fine
- I’m not hurt, I’m just angry
- I don’t care what anyone thinks. They can criticize me all they like.
- It doesn’t matter. I’m over it. I don’t even think about it anymore.
- I’ll do it tomorrow
- I’ve done everything I could have. There was absolutely nothing else I could have done.
- It’s not my fault
- I had nothing to do with this
- I’m not addicted
- I don’t have a problem
- It’s not about the money
Don’t lie to yourself about anything. Don’t lie to anyone else either.
Lying is shit. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t improve anything. It doesn’t solve any of your problems and it doesn’t make anything better. It just leads to deception and delusion and it breaks the trust of the person you lied to.
Learn to love the truth no matter what it is. No matter how good, bad, ugly or inconvenient it might be. Don’t resist it and don’t resent those who speak it.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson
7. Letting other people do your thinking for you
Letting other people tell you what to think might seem like a smart idea because it seems to save time and shortcut the process.
You don’t need to do any of the hard work of thinking, studying, and researching, because it’s all been done for you!
But the problem is that 99.99% of the time you get told a bunch of BS that you have to unlearn later.
Don’t let anyone tell you:
- What to think
- What to believe
- What something means
- What’s important
- What to focus on
- What the ‘facts’ are
- What the ‘truth’ is
- What things mean
- Who the ‘good guys’ are
- Who the ‘bad guys’ are
- Who to trust
Not even the ‘authorities’ and ‘experts’.
The ‘experts’ and ‘authorities’ are wrong all the time about everything.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford
6. DEFENSE MECHANISMS
Do yourself and everyone else a favor:
If you’re wrong – admit it.
If you made a mistake – admit it.
If you screwed up – admit it.
There’s nothing worse than being around someone who is overly insecure and defensive who refuses to take responsibility for their actions and has an excuse for every single thing they say and do.
Common Defense Mechanisms include:
- Acting like a victim. ‘Fine I’m a terrible person!’ ‘You’re perfect!’
- Aggression. Acting aggressive/hostile in order to scare others into changing the topic and leaving you alone.
- Blaming. ‘I only said/did that because YOU told me to!’ ‘It’s YOUR fault!’
- Changing the subject. ‘I don’t want to talk about this… How’s things going with you?’
- Denial. ‘I didn’t do it!’ ‘It wasn’t me!’ ‘I don’t have a problem!’
- Defensiveness. ‘I don’t care!’ ‘Who cares what you think!’ ‘Don’t judge me!’
- Disassociating. Going somewhere else mentally into your own world.
- Excuses/Rationalizing. ‘I lied – but only because I had to!’
- Projecting. ‘I’m not like that – you are! ‘That’s not me – that’s you!’
- Silent treatment.
Some people are so incredibly insecure that they can’t take any form of criticism from anyone.
I used to be like that. Making excuses for everything I said and did.
Until one day something changed.
I grew up.
“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.” ― Epictetus 100 A.D.
5. WASTING TIME
“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
If you want to change your life immeasurably for the better stop wasting time.
Pick up the phone as soon as it rings.
Reply to that email as soon as it’s received.
Seize the opportunity as soon as it presents itself.
Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Just do it.
- Don’t wait until January 1st
- Don’t wait until next year
- Don’t wait until next month
- Don’t wait until next week
- Don’t wait until tomorrow
- Don’t wait until tonight
- Don’t put it on your ‘to do’ list
Most people waste their lives, one day at a time, one moment at a time, always forward to the future, to some imaginary day to ‘someday’ to do what they want to do.
Don’t do that.
Don’t waste the best hours of your day and don’t waste the best years of your life.
If something is important to you – do it now.
It may not be the best time – but it’s the only time you’ve got.
When you waste time you waste the most valuable thing you have.
Time is even more precious than money. You can lose millions and get it all back.
But you cannot get your time back. You cannot even get a day back. Once a day is gone it’s gone forever.
Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.
You’re never going to be any younger than you are right now or have more time on your side to achieve your goals than you do right now.
“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” – Henry Ford, Net Worth (adjusted for inflation) $200 Billion USD
4. Being late, unreliable and untrustworthy
Too many people today are disorganized, unreliable and untrustworthy.
Their words and promises mean nothing. Less than nothing.
Don’t you be one of them.
If you say you’re going to do something – do it.
If you make a promise – keep it.
Don’t just break a promise, turn up late, or miss an appointment. It’s disrespectful to others.
Respect other people’s time. Be reliable. Be trustworthy.
“The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow men is that I do not say what I mean and I don’t do what I say.” – Martin Buber
Gambling is an extremely addictive and dangerous habit.
It takes you over before you know it. You can’t stop even if you want to.
It can ruin your life.
I myself was an addicted gambler from the ages of 18-20. I won and lost thousands of dollars betting on Sports (Cricket, Rugby, Rugby League mostly) back when I lived in New Zealand. It wasn’t until I lost EVERYTHING (over $23, 000 in one week) that I experienced enough pain to say “NO MORE!”
For now I will just say this:
You will NOT get rich quick gambling. You will get poor quick.
You cannot beat the house.
You cannot beat the bookies.
You cannot beat the odds.
Every option at a casino is a bad one.
There are only 2 things that can happen when you gamble:
- You LOSE – which happens MOST of the time
- You WIN – which means that you associate pleasure to gambling and will want to do it even more
That’s why beginners luck is the worst thing that can happen to someone. Because instead of seeing gambling for what it is, a trap used to separate fools from their money, you start to associate positive emotions to it and it becomes attractive to you.
In order for you to make any real money gambling you have to bet against the odds and it is mathematically impossible for anyone to win consistently betting against the odds over the long term.
Forget about that one guy you heard about on the news that won $100 Million Dollars in the Powerball lottery. Look at the odds. For every one gambler who beats the odds there are millions of losers. 99.99% of people lose.
Ignore the people who boast to you about how much money they’ve won. They’re not telling you how much money they’ve lost.
Ignore the stupid Hollywood propaganda that promotes casinos, gambling and Las Vegas as cool and sexy.
Casinos aren’t glamorous and neither is Las Vegas – it’s a shit hole.
How many millionaires and billionaires do you know who got rich from gambling?
The ONLY people who get rich are Casino owners – but they’re NOT gamblers.
If you don’t believe me, take it from multi-billionaire Steve Wynn, CEO and Owner of Wynn Casinos in Las Vegas who has worked in the Casino business for over 45 years…
Steve was interviewed by 60 minutes:
Steve Wynn: “The ONLY WAY to win in a casino is to own one.”
60 Minutes interviewer: “You have never known, in your entire life, a gambler who comes here and wins big and walks away?”
Steve Wynn: “Never”
60 Minutes interviewer: You know NOBODY who over the stretch of time is ahead?
Steve Wynn: “NO”
I understand why people gamble. I was an addicted gambler myself.
Gambling is exciting. It’s a rush. When you win there’s nothing better.
Your team won. You won. It’s FREE MONEY! It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN!
But when you LOSE (which you do most of the time) it’s depressing as hell.
If you’re in the advanced stages of gambling seek help immediately and don’t try to win your money back.
Don’t even try to break even.
2. All addictions
Do you have an addictive personality?
It wasn’t just gambling that I was addicted to.
For most of my life I’ve been addicted to something:
- Energy drinks
- Fast food
- Martial Arts
- Personal development
- Video games
It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, I get addicted to things very easily.
I didn’t do drugs when I was in my 20s for that very reason. I thought that if I did I would immediately get hooked and it would ruin my life and for that reason I never tried them.
What are you addicted to?
- Junk food
- Video Games
- What other people think
Whatever it is you need to break the habit, and one of the best ways I know of to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit.
If you’re going to be addicted to something at least be addicted to something good for you.
“Addiction begins with pain and ends with pain.” – Eckhart Tolle
1. Trying to change other people
Forget about trying to change other people.
It can’t be done.
Believe me I’ve tried.
If you think I’m wrong tell me this:
Have you ever really changed a single person in your entire life?
The answer is NO.
You can’t change:
- Your parents
- Your children
- Your boyfriend/girlfriend
- Your husband/wife
- Your family
- Your friends
You can’t change anyone!
If you could’ve – you would’ve.
But you can’t.
People are who they are. You can’t change them. Just like they can’t change you.
10 Bad Habits to break
9. Approval seeking
8. Lying to yourself and others
7. Letting other people do your thinking for you
6. Defence mechanisms
5. Wasting time
4. Being late, unreliable, untrustworthy
2. All addictions
1. Trying to change other people
HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT
What bad habits do you need to break?
If you want to break a habit there are 2 ways:
- Link enough pain to it that you can’t stand the thought of ever doing it again
- Literally starve it of attention
Don’t think about the benefits of continuing with it.
Don’t think about the good times you might have had with it.
Don’t even give it a second thought.
Have you heard the story of the Cherokee Indian?
The Cherokee Indian
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
If you liked this article (and I hope you did) please subscribe to my mailing list below and I’ll email you my latest articles whenever they’re released. NO SPAM EVER.
If you would like to read some of my other articles: Life Lessons All Articles