As kids, we’re given pacifiers to, well, pacify us. Funny thing—most adults don’t differ from kids in this respect. The only thing that differs is the pacifiers we use.

Adults use “sophisticated” pacifiers—food, drink, smoke, chew, and countless other things we stick in our mouth, watch with our eyes, and do with our hands and our bodies.

Sure, there is an enjoyment factor. But there is a difference between enjoying a good TV show and sitting down to multiple hours of TV per day (or leaving the TV on in the background). One portends control and self discipline, the other, a lack thereof.

It’s not the things we indulge in occasionally and rarely that are the problem. It’s the things we indulge in repeatedly that become problems. And the problem isn’t necessarily the thing itself—it’s the consciousness that thing creates—a lower consciousness.

Consciousness is the greatest gift we’ve got—and we sabotage it by unconsciously living large swaths of our life (like the way we eat and drink).

Pacifiers are an escape mechanism. They’re coping mechanisms. They’re ways of putting on the blinders to avoid dealing with a reality we don’t want to confront.

Frankly, it’s weak, and brings us down to an animal level. A great majority of the US lives large portions of their lives like animals—especially when it comes to eating and drinking.

When I was laid off last August, I took a cold, hard scrutinizing look at who I was and what I was doing. I identified several low-hanging fruit habits and patterns of thinking that were not serving me well. I took a look at my results and uncovered the beliefs and patterns of thinking that were creating them. Then, I developed a morning routine of addressing those beliefs and patterns of thought and reprogramming myself.

You can, too. Perhaps you already are. Maybe you’re doing it unconsciously by watching TV, mainstream media, and surrounding yourself with others who are doing the same.

If you’re doing it consciously, however, you’ll seek the most uplifting and inspirational thought and douse yourself in it. You’ll seek uplifting and helpful people. And, you’ll avoid many of the adult pacifiers that cloud your reality—because if you’re reality is clouded through adult pacifiers, you can’t be certain about anything in your life. If you cloud your mind, your one and only method of interpreting reality is being sabotaged.

Our habits—your habits—our country’s habits… can lead us into ruin, or do the exact opposite. Yet everyday we choose the former because it is easier. And the day of reckoning hastens.

Habit change is hard. It’s fucking hard—let’s not kid ourselves. But it’s the most important work you can take on and it has immediate benefits.

Benefits of Habit Change

Habits are usually developed unconsciously. One day, the coffee drinker had a cup of coffee. One year later, it’s a daily habit. Why? Because it feels good! That morning cup feels great! It gives you energy!

But there you are, a slave to habit. Try to quit and you get a headache. Look at your finances and you find you’re spending $30 plus per month. On what? Something you don’t need in the first place. Something that unconsciously turned into a habit.

And now try to quit. Oh man. This sucks! I want my coffee!

And that’s just coffee. For some it’s alcohol, for others meth.

Yet you can learn to change your habits. Swap them out for better ones. If you understand progressions, you can do this systematically so it’s not so hard. If you understand how your thoughts transform into action, you can work on your thoughts and watch as actions transform themselves.

You can completely remake your life. Not only can you get rid of bad habits like smoking, you can acquire good habits, like eating more vegetables. You can even change habitual thinking! You can get rid of jealous thoughts and replace them with thoughts of joy and peace.

But you have to work at it. Consistently.

Avoid the Loser Syndrome So Common in America and Other Spoiled Brat Countries

Many people complain about the way things are, what so-and-so is doing and how bad it is. They blame others for their problems, but never cast the searchlight on themselves.

Well, it’s hard to cast the searchlight on yourself—especially if you overeat, don’t exercise, drink, smoke, and eat poor quality food. How could you possibly have enough reserve energy to take a look at your life, the direction it’s heading, and try to figure out how to change it?

You become reactionary. Life just pushes you around. You’re constantly unbalanced because you only have a fraction of your mind power to use. Your mind becomes muddled. You don’t think straight. You’re too lazy to challenge the status quo. Too satieted to mind your rapidly increasing waist size and rapidly decrasing physical abilities. It’s just age, you say, and since most other automatons say the same thing, you believe it, foolishly.

When you change your habits, you develop your consciousness. You begin to think. You analyze. You make better decisions. You gain more awareness.

Awareness is the key benefit of habit change. For example, when I began drinking alcohol consciously I realized that I was eating food unconsciously. I was a food drunkard. Most people are. That awareness has prompted me to change my food habits. Changing my food habits has had a huge impact on my health.

But what can I do now?

Yes, habit change is hard. I’ve covered that. You know—you’ve tried to change your diet. You’ve tried to start exercising. You’ve tried to go to bed earlier. You’ve made changes and you’ve sleepwalked back again to old habits. I get it. I’ve done it, too. Many times. Over and over again.

But there is something you can do now. You can acquire a new habit. A habit of mouth responsibility. A habit of being accountable to what goes into your mouth.

YOu can do, in other words, what Ben Franklin did: Exhibit temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

This, Ben Franklin assures us “tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up and a guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and the force of perpetual temptations.”

So, if you want to gain control of your habits, learn to exhibit temperance. It will shed awareness on nearly every impetuous action you have. And awareness is where true and total reformation starts.