“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us.

We become what we repeatedly do.”

Sean Covey, author


Way back in the day, when I was much younger and not quite as wise as I am now, I would run early in the morning before work on a track field near my home. Like the folks who deliver the mail, it didn’t matter if it was raining or snowing – I got the job done. Wake up, suit up, and get moving. One winter day, after running two miles, I returned home and turned on the radio. The weatherman’s teeth were chattering as he informed us listeners that the current temperature was seventeen below zero. And that was the day, with my wife’s encouragement, I made friends with a treadmill.

Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi liked to remind his players that you win football games with fundamentals. His team had lost the NFL Championship game to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960. The following Spring, on the first day of training camp, he stood before his players and, holding the ball in his hand, he said, “Gentleman, this is a football.” You can’t get anymore fundamental than that. And starting there, his team would become the best in the league at all the basic skills of football. The next time around, playing for the championship, Green Bay beat the New York Giants 37 to 0.

“Runners,” now imagine me pointing to a machine with a large belt, plugged into the wall with handles leading up to a panel of bells and whistles, “This is a treadmill and when it moves it makes your feet go forward or you fly off the back, most likely without a happy landing.”

Remember, we’re talking fundamentals.

The treadmill got its start around 1817. It was used as a torture device to reform stubborn and idle convicts. Times have changed and the motivation to climb on a treadmill is now fitness. But the concept is the same –  forward motion. And it works. 50 million hamsters can’t be wrong. No excuse, if you want to be a runner then you have to run. And a treadmill cancels out any other plans the weatherman might have.

Now that we’ve given the treadmill the recognition it deserves, let’s talk about some other habits of a winner. How much time do you devote each day to reading and what kind of books are you using to fill your mind? Who are the people you’re spending time with?  Where do you go? What do you do when you get there? It all adds up. Save the time and money on a trip to the fortune teller. In a few years you’ll be the sum total of these habits and people.

It’s a great idea to take inventory every now and then. Is what you’re doing moving you down the road to success or up the creek of despair?