How to Manage Habit Energy

Here are a few quotes on how to manage habit energy. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh puts it this way:

Concentrating 100% on our breathing or our steps liberates us. We become a free person in just a few seconds, free to transform the habit energies of our ancestors.

And Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche has this to say:

Using Habit Against Itself | February 26, 2015

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, “Tortoise Steps”

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse RinpocheDzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Managing our habit energies doesn’t only apply to our daily meditation practice, exercise program, or breakfast habits. It applies to everything we do in life.

Tynan says,

“You should be very scared to fail to execute a habit, even once. By failing to execute, potentially you’re not just losing a minor bit of progress, but rather threatening the cumulative benefits you’ve accrued by establishing a habit. This is a huge deal and should not be treated lightly. So make your habits relatively easy, but never miss doing them.”
~ Tynan from Superhuman By Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time

According to Brian Johnson, founder of en*theos,

The key here is to: “Make your habits relatively easy, but never miss doing them.

Don’t say you’re going to go from 0 minutes of meditation a day to 60 minutes a day (or even 30 minutes).

Make it easy.

Commit to at least ONE minute of meditation.

That might sound less inspiring than levitating off your cushion for an hour a day, but, as Tynan comes back to again and again (and again and again), we need to see our habits over the LONG RUN. It’s not about the hit we get thru a couple good sessions. It’s about installing a habit that lasts FOREVER.

And, to do that, it’s best to start small, NEVER (!) miss a day, and build from there.

Get your 1 minute of meditation rockin’. You can easily double that to 2. Bump it up to 5. 10’s not a big deal then. Move it to 20 minutes if you’re feeling it, etc. Bam. You have a habit that’s not going anywhere.

So, is this enough motivation for you to manage habit energy? If so, how are you going to do it? If not, what else do you need?

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Books by Tynan

Superhuman By Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time


Our willpower is limited, yet we rely on it every day to get our tasks done. Even if we build willpower slowly over time, it’s never enough to reach all of our goals. The solution lies in habit creation, the method by which we transform hard tasks into easy ones, making them automatic and independen… [Read More…]

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