Mary Pickford used to say, "Don't look at the sudden loss
of a habit, or a way of life, as the end of the road; see it
instead as only a bend in the road that will open up all sorts
of interesting possibilities and new experiences. After all,
you've seen the scenery on the old road for so long, and you
obviously no longer like it."
The breaking of a long-time habit does seem like the end
of the road at the time — the complete cessation of enjoyment.
Suddenly dropping the habit so fills our minds with
the desire for the old habitual way that, for a while, it seems
there will no longer be any peace, any sort of enjoyment. But
that's not true. New habits form in a surprisingly short time,
and a whole new world opens up to us.
For those who have tried repeatedly to break a habit of
some kind, only to repeatedly fail, Mary Pickford said,
"Falling is not failing, unless you fail to get up."
Most people who finally win the battle over a
habit have done so only after repeated failures.
I remember in Arthur Miller's play The Price, the father
lost everything during the stock market crash of 1929 and,
for the rest of his life, sat in a room in the attic of a relative.
That's failing. It seems some people lack the stamina, the
energy, to do it all over again or to make a new start. For
them, it's just the end of the road, and they've come to a full
stop. Many lead such superficial lives, have so little depth
of mind and spirit, that the sudden loss of income or material
things is too much for them, and they jump out a window
or retreat into insanity.
So if you've been trying to start in a new direction, you
might do well to remember the advice of Mary Pickford: It
isn't the end of the road; it's just a bend in the road. And
falling isn't failing, unless you don't get up.
Source: The Essence of Success by Earl Nightingale. Edited by
Carson V. Conant.