The True Reward for Quitting a Bad Habit
(A pat on your shoulder, sweets, watching an episode of your favorite show? Nope!)
“In a perfect world, the reward for a good habit is the habit itself.” — James Clear, “Atomic Habits”
And the reverse is true for bad habits. I didn’t give myself any rewards for quitting my bad habits. Not having them has been my greatest reward.
I played computer games in excess. I read fiction in excess. I ate sweets in excess.
Eliminating those habits from my life had been, and still is, a reward in itself!
I got my time back and dedicated a lot of it to improve my life. I build new careers (three of them!). I wrote and published 18 books.
I bought our first home. I was able to downsize my day job to 10 hours a week and I liberated my wife from her day job.
I beat over 200 personal fitness records. I improved my health to the degree that even my chronic allergy became a non-issue. I lost 15% of my body weight and kept my weight at this level for the last eight years.
Don’t it all sounds like a reward?!? I achieved those things because I quit my bad habits. Those achievements would’ve been impossible without getting rid of them.
Who You Become
But the biggest reward for quitting a bad habit is becoming a different person — less plagued with vices and more blessed with virtues. Eliminating bad habits automatically makes you a better person. Your habits determine who you are.
Additionally, the absence of a bad habit creates a space where you can develop new good habits. If you dedicate less time, energy, and attention to your vice, you can dedicate more of those resources to developing yourself.
Here is the real potential for growth.
For me, my personal growth is the ultimate reward for quitting my bad habits.
Originally published at Quora
by the author.