No vice exists which does not pretend to be more or less like some virtue, and which does not take advantage of this assumed resemblance.
Jean de La Bruyère
Bad habits are so difficult to give up not only because they’re pleasant, but also because they often masquerade as virtues. When you think of your vice as a friend rather than your enemy, it’s evenharder to eliminate it from your life.
For example, people who sleep in and suffer from low productivity might claim that, thanks to staying up late, they have a great social life. They fail to notice they’re paying too high a price for a benefit they could obtain in a different way without jeopardizing their long-term goals.
I used to believe that it was good to jump from one business idea to another. I thought that by trying different things, I would eventually find the perfect idea that would magically grow into a successful business.
In reality, I lacked the self-discipline to focus and wasted several years on endeavors that were destined to fail. Were there some benefits in spreading my attention so thin? Certainly. They weren’t more valuable than what I was losing, though, and what I considered a virtue was actually a vice that was sabotaging my goals .
Are there any vices of yours that might masquerade as virtues? Question your deeply-held beliefs and ask yourself if your supposed virtues are indeed helpful, or perhaps they’re like a friend that gives you one dollar with one hand while stealing five dollars from your wallet with the other.