Are bad habits tools that help us through life?

I’ve lost all ability to be inspired; I blame it on a stagnating life and 1001 sleepless nights have not done any good to the mind.
No, this is not one of those pessimistic posts that have insidiously invaded the blog. This is an attempt to turn negativity into constructive writing.

I was inspired by a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche “How people keep correcting us when we are young! There is always some bad habit or other they tell us we ought to get over. Yet most bad habits are tools to help us through life.”

I thought about this for some time and I guess he’s right. I’ll list five

1. I find it imperative to learn the lyrics of songs I like and will not stop singing.
Bad habit indeed! You couldn’t shut me up when I started singing as a kid. Yet this might have been a first step to memory-training. I soon realised that I could learn effectively through listening (just as Plato might have advocated). Tell it once and I’ll remember– I think that’s how I got attuned with my History classes. I’m not a quick learner but it could’ve been worse.

2. I tend to over-think everything, at times leaning towards negativity.
I mentioned that this less-than-appealing predisposition has its problems; but it has given me an opportunity to create what I could never have if life had been a bed of roses. I write & engage in creative design as an outlet. I think of contingencies, which keep me prepared to react spontaneously. Not too bad, though it gets tiring sometimes.

3. I have a high propensity to get restless.
Remember the days when the teacher tells you to stay seated and finish your work within stipulated hours? I would finish what I had to, satisfactorily too, and for more. This resulted in my tendency to keep learning/reading and thus far it hasn’t done too much harm.

4. I don’t seem to sleep very much.
It’s supposedly really bad for health. But my days are fully dedicated to work, and I can only do what I wish to in the evenings. When else would I be able to find time to do what I like to? I got accustomed to this and now I guess my work-life balance is pretty decent. Tentatively, though.

5. I am an unrepentant foodie even as a child.
That’s the greedy kid that wouldn’t stop running into the kitchen to steal some food from the pot. Strangely though, apart from developing a keen sense of taste, I figured at a young age that I’ll need to know how to cook in order to keep eating. I learnt to cook various cuisines very quickly, and am still experimenting positively with more. This is a tool that has helped through life indeed.

What about you? I’ll be happy to have all of you think through yours and evaluate if your “bad habits” are the very tools that have given you strength in life.



9 thoughts on “Are bad habits tools that help us through life?

  1. I think my worst habit is not getting enough sleep. I call it being an night owl or having an artist disposition, but it just means I’m tired during the day. Honestly, I just sincerely like staying up late.

  2. Interesting theory. I think my most self-destructive trait is also my greatest strength – I feel emotions very deeply, and I am highly sensitive to the moods of others. The down side is that I can get very caught up in these feelings and blow them out of proportion in my head. The good part is that it makes me an intuitive teacher and friend.

    • Ah! Very nicely explained! Me too, I tend to be hyper-sensitive at times but this allows me to realise the emotions or atmosphere quicker than most. Only, I’m not a teacher, just an alright kinda friend 🙂

  3. I don’t have any bad habits. I never procrastinate. I’m not a control freak. I never over-analyze things to the point of insomnia. I’m definitely not a TV junkie at heart. And I’m pretty self-aware 😉

    It is sad that as kids we’re so often told all the things we shouldn’t do. Oh well, we are who we are, right? You’re right, we might as well embrace it!

    • Exactly! Only problem however, when we try to embrace who we are, would be society’s opinions and perspectives of what’s right and wrong. Which I don’t always agree with. Oh well.

  4. I think my worst habit is not asking for help. I tend to juggle too many things and I think I can handle it and/or I fail to have enough trust in others to help me get certain tasks done. In the end, I usually succeed in fulfilling my responsibilities despite not asking for help, but I know that I could have saved myself much stress!

    • This is a really good one! I have the same problem too so sometimes I’m told that I see everything as a task. I’m sure I could’ve saved some stress by seeking some help but I seldom do, so there goes! High5 on this one!

  5. Pingback: the “bug” list – good or evil? | rustic recluse

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