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Business is fun

The Sound of Music

Why break the habits of a lifetime?

We might say that usually when someone says they will change by stopping doing something they shouldn't. But it's said so tongue in cheek that it is obvious we don't believe they will change. So it's not the most encouraging thing to say to someone who wants to change their habits since it immediately dents any hope they might have of changing.

Predictable patterns of behaviour are helpful sometimes in being able to respond or plan for the future. and generally repetitive behaviour, while sometimes annoying, at least gives some certainty about the future.

Business is never of itself predictable: it may once have been that way but it is hardly a stable and reliable world that we live in now. But by repeating good patterns of behaviour it may be that good results will be generated and stability and resilience created and sustained.


Habits are formed only over time. By definition it is only a habit if you "habitually" do it. Depending on who you ask you'll find that it takes anywhere between 21 days and 66 days for it to become automatic. That's a long time when you perhaps have three or four cigarettes a day or love your emails or social networking so much.



Making a new business habit though needs you to recognise that you need to change your habits. It's no use someone else telling you that you need to change what you do; or telling you how to change or what you need to do. You must want to change.

By all means then seek help to change, because you won't be able to make the transition perfectly. You'll want someone to pick you up when you fail (or fall), encourage you and help you work through different change strategies.


I love predictability and going through a change of habits disturbs predictability massively. The Italian phrase is, "vale la pena" (literally, it is worth the pain) and a little pain now makes huge differences later, making things more predictable, more certain.

A thousand years is a pretty long time and (unfortunately?) most of us won't ever need to last that long with our habits. Thankfully, the hills, alive with the sound of music, are more lasting than us mere humans and give us all some stability and predictability.




Bet you were wondering how I'd manage that!

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Marian Dougan on October 11, 2011

Yes, I was indeed wondering - had visions of you running through the hills dressed as a nun and carrying a guitar.