Continuous effort – far more than strength or intelligence – is the key that unlocks our potential.

Winston Churchill

Have you heard of the famous Alcatraz prison on an island of the same name in California? After harboring dangerous criminals, it is now open to tourism. This old prison was known for its ironclad security. No prisoner could escape. Yet many tried.

When one thinks of Alcatraz, one can also liken it to other types of prisons from which we can hardly escape. These are our “mental prisons”, our beliefs and habits. Our habits and our way of thinking can make our lives extremely pleasant or, conversely, the most squalid prisons.

Look how people around you live. Some are positive and successful. They are rich in their person, their thoughts, and their dreams; they walk with confidence.

Others wallow in their problems. They complain constantly, justifying their position by citing outside reasons for their misery and see their life a little worse every day. The former are ambitious, seeking opportunities and meet peaks. The latter live monotonous lives, expect miracles to happen, and live a life without pleasure or hope.

Our life depends on our thoughts and our habits. If we adopt bad habits, if we are irresponsible, we will live each day in our own prison. Therefore we must learn to live with habits that lead to personal success!

A Life Consisting of Habits

We learned our habits in our childhood as we grew up. And we left to chance the determination of the habits that shape who we are. Our life consists largely of our habits. They affect everything we know and we repeat them every day. Every day, our habits dictate our choices and reactions. But most of these habits are unfounded, and restrict us more than they help us.

It saddens me to say this, but if your life does not satisfy you, it’s probably because you repeated habits and adopted the views of others without having verified whether these habits and views were really helpful to build your life.

A few people stand out in society because they are successful. Are these persons smarter than you? Of course not! Are they more fortunate than you? No! Rather, they refused to take the habits of the majority and took a different path. They replaced their habits with creativity and their opinions through experience.

Instead of doing things like everyone else, without asking any questions, they checked first whether their beliefs and actions allowed them to perform well. And when they found this was not the case, they sought other ways to achieve. You can also adopt the constructive attitudes of these people.

You have to listen to your passions, question whether you are moving in the right direction and take the risk to be really happy! But this is not always what we do.

For example, we do not take things to the next level. If we have this bad habit, it is because we have learned to procrastinate. We’re motivated to do nothing; that is to say that we have found more “good” reasons to do nothing rather than take action!

In short, happy people have developed good habits that allow them to perform, while more unfortunate people are trapped in bad habits that make them suffer and immobilize their lives.