Habits are the things that we do continuously son. It is the consistent action we take towards one of our goals. On the flip side, it can be a negative habit that lead us away from the things we want in our life. The value of habit creation and understanding how we create our world son is so important today.
Habit creation from father to son
Koro gave me my first experiences with habits son. Habits are a reflection of the people who surround us, as much they are created by us everyday. Our role as a parents should never be underestimated. This role will guide the lives of your children one day as Koro guided mine, and I hope to guide you.
Self-learning was promoted through each habit son. As I discovered later in life, this was something that had been part of our culture for years. Self-learning is seen as the best way for the teachings of our ancestors to be passed. My first exposure to this was through weaponry. Each morning I would wake to see Koro standing outside holding his taiaha. Not once did he ask me to stand with him but as I grew older this became something that I wanted to do purely because I saw him doing it consistently. We would stand in silence as I listened to Koro breathe in and out. This became my first experience also with discipline.
Discipline came in the form of standing completely still. Koro wouldn’t move and so I didn’t want to either. He would never stop me from moving or stopping what we were doing, but there was something always inside me that wanted to stay. Koro was my superhero as a boy, like you boys I loved Superman and Batman, but Koro was my real life hero.
Some of my best habits were built during this time. I can remember feeling pain in my legs or feeling cold and I would hear Koro practicing deep breathing. I always thought that Koro was superhuman and couldn’t feel pain. Now I know that he always did but one thing he could do, was move his focus to something else, which he did through breathing.
Today Rakeiora you do this with me, and with Koro. I have created my own way of doing this with you boys. I believe like my father changed things for me, I have changed them for you so to keep with my perspective of how I see the world. The key for me are the principles, not the need to wake each morning at 5am in the cold (although some mornings you will). I can see these principles in you every day. I see this through your actions, through your habits and this tells me that we are heading in the right direction.
What we see isn’t always good son
Our consistent actions can sometimes be off balance son. As a father I know that there are times when I slip. An example of this is when I left my phone on the roof of our car. As we drove down the road we noticed something fall past the rear of the car. I knew in that instant, it was my phone. My reaction to this situation wasn’t good and in this moment I wish I could have been better. If this action is repeated and is something that you see from me often, it will no doubt shape your reactions in the future.
Some other experiences can have similar effects. Such as events that have the ability to impact you significantly. For you boys, you have had huge change in your world and I know that the impact has been great. When something negative happens in our life, we can feel like more things will go wrong. We feel like the world is against us. More than ever, it is during these times that we need to have positive habits in our world. For me I focus on three things.
Thoughts, Emotions & Reactions
We have thoughts all the time son, thousands of them. I was always taught to recognise these thoughts. This was also done through my initial lessons in discipline. Later Koro would talk to me about meditation. For us as Māori it was about recognising our thoughts of anger and peace. This can be defined by the thoughts our minds develop through negative self-talk and what thoughts we have that are coming from our heart.
The key to thoughts, emotions and reactions boys is reactions. Our reaction is the only thing that we have in our control. It is this control that defines how our emotions play a part in this cycle. If we develop good habits about controlling our thoughts we can recognise what is happening in our mind. Then we decide how we feel about the situation and control more how we deal with it.
Some days your thoughts will take you straight to emotions. You will lose control of your thoughts. But the key to control is practice. I think Mama explains perspective really well in this post, perspective changes everything.
We are creating habits all of the time
Habits are created all the time son. Everything we do consistently creates them. Sometimes this is done unconsciously. Today in our world everything moves so quickly that we often can feel out of control of the things that we do, or how we invest in time each day.
For our ancestors habits were created out of necessity. I try to concentrate on these things and how they reflect in my life. Necessity for them was survival. When you have to survive you see things with a different filter. Some would argue that we need to survive today and I wouldn’t disagree. The survival I speak of here is self-preservation from the elements of the world that surround you. Survival from the cold, the weather, and the need to be in tune with your world. When life is defined this way our values change.
For this reason our ancestors had a number of values that still have a place today. When we focus on these things, the way we create habits changes.
- Whanaungatanga – Family and the binding of people
- Manaakitanga – Caring, generosity and support
- Kaitiakitanga – Caring for our world and giving back
- Tuakana, Teina – relationship between young and old
- Mātauranga – Building of knowledge
- Wairua – Spiritual wellbeing
- Matatoa – Courage
There are more values within our Māori world boys, but these are the ones I focus on daily. There are also much deeper meanings to each of these values but I hope my actions and habits each day give you an understanding that words can’t define.
I also concentrate my thoughts on these four pillars:
- Whānau – family
- Hinengaro – mental wellbeing
- Tinana – physical wellbeing
- Wairua – spiritual wellbeing
Each morning I sit in silence and reflect on my thoughts. I reflect on my values and finish with writing in my journal. By understanding my own personal values I am able to create conscious habits to create the world I want around me.
Each morning I create my world son. How amazing is it that we can sit and create the world around us. As I reflect on each part of my day I consistently think about the habits that I need to maintain. Some things are easy, others need more effort but the habits we use to keep us on track are so important.
Small habits create big things
It is important with a habit to realise that our actions initially can be small. If we want to get fit the first thing we need to do is create the habit of doing something for ourselves. This can start with a few push ups consistently or we can go all the way and start with a 30km marathon. Anything is possible in the mind and we shouldn’t limit our thoughts, but in some instances starting small and creating consistent action can have more value. I should tell you I have done both.
Track your habits son
As I create my world each day I track the consistent actions that I take so that I can later reflect on what I have achieved. My method is a simple tick in a box listed against a new habit and sometimes it can be the most simple action. An example of this right now is to brush my teeth twice a day and at the time of writing this post I am a 42 year old man.
As my world has become busier I need to put time back into some of the most simple things which is solely about me and more so my health. But the cool thing about a seemingly small action is the ripple effect it can have if we create consistent action. There was a time in my life where the only drink that would satisfy me was something fizzy. I consistently created habits that removed my normal sugary soft drink from my life. I started by taking away one type of fizzy drink until I no longer wanted it and then moved on to the next one. Imagine the health benefits from this action years ago.
We can’t realise these things son, without taking the time to create the world around us. Remember son we create this world through understanding our thoughts, and creating the consistent actions or habits that will lead us to our goals.
The value of habit creation
Habit creation is one of the most important things you can add into your life son. Each day I wake up at 5am, I sit in silence, I look at the stars or watch the sunrise, I create my world. This is the most important habit I have created in my life. This habit was passed on from my father and passed from our ancestors. Most nights we watch the sunset and admire the moon together. We speak about the phase of the moon and what it meant to our ancestors and what it means for us today. When the stars rise we recite their names and speak of our adventures that we want to take together.
Every day we reflect on your dreams and values. We track your habits and let you decide what values to invest in. As a family we stand and give thanks for each other and let each other know what was the best part of our day. We speak to birds, we spend time with nature and all of this in the hope that the habits we create grow a positive world around you.
The habits we create each day son will guide your world. Create habits that seek to invest in your values. Let your values be the road markings that keep you on track. A habit is the consistent action that you take towards your goals. It is that consistent action that matters, no matter how small it is.Go on tweet this sweet postClick To Tweet
Habits on our VLog
This one was created to show you the value I saw in the morning son, and is the first video I created.
This VLog I hoped would show you how you can create your world by changing the way you think.
I hope this video shows you that every moment is important son.