In Germany, there is a very good saying which says: Einmal ist keinmal. It is translated into English with once won’t hurt. But in my opinion, the German saying is expressing the same thing differently. A literal translation would be: Once is not once – but well, it sounds pretty strange in English and in the end the idea is the same.
However, I found out that this saying is completely wrong. Whether you say einmal ist keinmal or once won’t hurt. It’s wrong. I learned that it is a very harmful excuse for people to skip a good habit for a day.
Once Won’t Hurt is an Excuse for Losers
So when do you actually use the saying once won’t hurt? I realized that we use this saying to get our own permission to do something stupid. In other words: by acting according to this saying we are looking for an excuse to break a bad habit or to do something we know is wrong or even harmful.
In the last weeks, I acted like a loser. Now ask yourself why I acted like a loser. The answer is because I acted according to this harmful saying of once won’t hurt or einmal ist keinmal. Not once but even multiple times.
There was a day where I absolutely didn’t feel like writing nor blogging. I said to myself: “Marius, einmal ist keinmal. Before you write a shitty story today wait until tomorrow and you’ll write something more qualitative”.
Guess what I did the next day. Did I write a more qualitative blog post? No! I did not write a blog post at all! This small decision destroyed my habit of daily blogging (until today of course).
Then I had the plan to wake up earlier to find some time for my morning routine. It worked out great until recently. There was one evening where I realized that to continue my morning routine I would not get my desired 7-8 hours of sleep but rather 5 hours. I said to myself: “Marius, once won’t hurt”. WRONG! Skipping my habit once DID HURT the development of my habit. This small saying which told me that once won’t hurt literally hurt me developing a habit of waking up early.
In fact, I see many people which are acting according to this saying.
– I am on a diet. Well, it’s one cheeseburger. Once won’t hurt. WRONG
– I quit smoking but well, one cigarette. Once won’t hurt. WRONG
– I want to learn for my university course every day. Except for today, once won’t hurt. WRONG
In every scenario acting according to this saying hurts. The saying once won’t hurt is absolutely wrong – not because one cheeseburger or one cigarette is especially harmful – but because this attitude destroys your habit. I experienced it myself. If you skip it once, it is very likely that you will skip it another time and another time.
Once will hurt. Don’t skip your habit. Stay with it.