We would go to this new place called Applebees. I know. And, we
would do that, I think, if I'm not mistaken, Dexter, we would go every... was it
Wednesday or Thursday. The whole concept was that we would meet once a week at
Applebees and we would have these breaded mozzarella sticks, breaded mozzarella
sticks and root beer because we weren't old enough to drink.
made the experience, the experience was at that point in time you could still
smoke inside. And so, Dexter and I kind of wanted to be like his cousin, Ceasar,
who smoked a tobacco pipe, right?
And so, Dexter and I, now I want you to
picture this. We had these high top fades and wire rimmed glasses with little
sweater vests and I said, not the wire rims, but the ones with the butterfly
wings kind of thing so we looked like bugs. And, we're also, we're 18 and we're
smoking tobacco pipes in a restaurant. Kind of crazy looking.
thought it was cool, right, because Ceasar was doing it. So, we wanted to be
kind of like Ceasar. And so, we were following kind of Ceasar's
And so, we would go to Applebees and we'd meet there once a
week and we would bring our tobacco pipes. And, it was really funny because
Dexter would call me and say, "Andre, remember your pipe." And so, you know, I
had a little pipe bag and I packed it in there. And so, I'd take that with me as
we went different places. But, every other time I wouldn't remember to bring it.
I kept forgetting to bring it.
Now, if I'm not mistaken, and Ceasar,
correct me if I'm wrong, you still use your tobacco pipe, if I'm not mistaken.
I, however, do not. Now, this isn't a moral judgment on anyone, but it is a
conversation about our pattern of behavior.
I don't smoke a tobacco pipe
today mostly because it did not become a habit. I also don't go to Applebees
every Wednesday or Thursday either. That's not a habit either.
is a habit? I mean, anybody know, are smokers born with Marlboro Lights hanging
off the end of the lip as a baby and they go, whaaaa, and a little cigarette and
the ash is falling off? Does that happen? Are smokers born smokers? My answer is
no. They have what, learned to be smokers.
So, what is a habit? A habit
is a learned pattern of behavior that has become automatic. Now, I hear tell of,
you know, if you do something for 30 days or 31 days or for a number of hours
that that thing becomes a habit. And, what I like to say is that anything that
you do on a regular basis that becomes important to you becomes a
Thinking a certain way can become a habit. Acting a certain way
can be a habit. It's those things that you find value in that you do on a
regular basis that become habits.
Now, I think habits are very
interesting, and I like that definition of it being a learned pattern of
behavior that becomes automatic. And why, as a teacher, am I excited when I
think about habits being learned patterns of behavior? Because if it's a learned
pattern of behavior, then it's something that you can unlearn and relearn a new
Now, the interesting thing about habits and why it's difficult
to change habits is that people forget one of the basic premises of a habit,
right? Habits are designed to make your life easier. They're designed to make
your life easier. And, the interesting thing is that people will stop doing a
habit but won't replace that habit with something else.
I often tell this
story or ask this question in my class, what is in a hole that's three feet
deep? The answer is nothing or it wouldn't be a hole. The other part of that,
though, is if you have a hole that's open and you don't fill it with something,
the universe will fill it with whatever is available.
I mean, have you
ever looked in a pothole, for example, right? We're in one of those seasons
where potholes are pretty prevalent. And, what is supposed to be in a pothole?
It' supposed to be filled with cement or tar or asphalt. Those are the things
that are supposed to be in the pothole. But, often times what you find is water
and rocks and Doritos bags and cigarette butts and all of these things because
there's a gaping hole that has not been filled. The universe finds ways and
things to fill it with.
So, when we talk about your habits and changing
your habits, we know that it's a learned pattern of behavior that's become
automatic. And, that if we want to change our habits, we have to replace that
habit with something else.
My Uncle Rick quit smoking. And, the way he
quit smoking was that he said I'm not going to buy any more cigarettes, this is
not something I want to do. And so, what he did was he replaced cigarettes with
toothpicks. You will never catch my uncle without a toothpick because he's given
up smoking. So, he replaced an old habit with a new and better habit, something
that's helping him to reach his goal. Now, he's not quite delivered, but we'll
get to that part later, all right?
So, to change a habit, to replace it
with something, you have to start with something even more basic than that. And,
you have to start with a routine. Your routines make good habits. We'll talk
about routines in just a bit.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.