Maybe The Best Riddle Ever


I am your constant companion.  I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.

I am completely at your command. Half of the things you do, you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed – but you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it… automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of one; plus, the intelligence of a person.

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin, it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I Am Habit!

I so wish that I would have read this riddle when I was a younger man. I am almost certain that I would have been inspired to grasp the importance of adopting good habits at a much earlier age. I may have avoided some painful lessons and likely would have kept from hurting others as well. Ever since waking up to the power of habit, I work hard to maintain good ones. I make every effort to keep a tight grasp on the habits that build me up and I am constantly working to identify and eliminate the habits that lead me away from the positive outcomes that I desire in my life. Being honest with myself about my less virtuous habits is no easy task. At times, I can be full-tilt into a destructive habit before I recognize that it has a hold of me. If I am not vigilant, I can get dragged out to sea, caught in the undertow of well-worn attitudes and behaviors.

Each of us gets complacent at one time or another. Distracted by our busyness, we might set our internal controls on auto-pilot. At other times, fatigue sets in and we get tired of fighting. I recognize that there are still times at which I want to give in and abandon the internal post that I have committed to safeguarding.

Special things come as a result of adopting and nurturing life-giving habits. The only place in which success comes before work is in the dictionary. There really are no secrets to success, regardless of that on which we set our sights.  If I want to be a great dad, I need to adopt uncommon habits of building up my children through quality and quantity of time spent. If I am going to be an exceptional husband, I need to develop habits that are focused on my wife and what she wants, needs and deserves. If I am going to be a trusted employee, then I will need to figure out what my boss expects of me and be sure that I remain focused in my efforts to deliver what he wants.

Forging habits that I can trust has radically altered my life for the good. I adopt a few new habits every year while displacing one or two that no longer serve my goals.

What habit have you adopted that is your greatest helper? What habit has become your heaviest burden? What is one new habit that you can begin to develop that will displace one that is disabling you?

Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. cause you are!






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