Habits, whether good or bad, are generally acquired. When a person does a certain thing once and again, he is impelled by some unseen force to do the same thing repeatedly; thus a habit is formed. Once a habit is formed, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to shake it off. It is therefore very important that we should take great care in the formation of habits. Some bad habits formed in childhood may remain lifetime. Older persons also form bad habits, and in some cases they are ruined by these bad habits.
There are good habits which, when formed in early life, are great blessings. Many successful people declare that they owe much of their success and prosperity to the formation of such good habits as punctuality, honesty, and perseverance in early life.
Such habits as rudeness, laziness, stealing and slandering are bad habits. If we want to be useful to society, we ought to keep away from ail these vices, and strive to acquire those habits that are proven to be good for ourselves and others.
Punctuality means observing regular or appointed time. A man who gets up at six o’clock every morning is punctual A man who has promised to call on a friend at five o’clock in the afternoon and actually does so at that hour is also punctual.
Punctuality is a good habit, and unpunctuality is, of course, a bad one. A few minutes delay may not be a serious matter. But it may have bad results. Getting up five minutes later than usual may upset the plan of the day. Calling on a friend five minutes later than the appointed time may cause him some unexpected trouble. Moreover, habitual unpunctuality leads to indolence and even failure in life. One delay after another makes a man unable to exert himself. It also proves him to be untrustworthy.
Those who are unpunctual should try their best to get rid of their bad habit. In doing this, they should avoid making any kind of exception. They should never say to themselves: “A few minute’s delay does not matter much this time. I shall never be unpunctual again.” Those who think in this way will find excuses for delay from time to time, and will at last give up the attempt to cultivate the good habit.