From Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande, originally published 1934.
Old habits are strong and jealous. They will not be displaced easily if they get any warning that such plans are afoot; they will fight for their existence with subtlety and persuasiveness.
If they are too radically attacked they will revenge themselves; you will find, after a day or two of extraordinarily virtuous effort, all sorts of reasons why the new method is not good for you, why you should alter it in line with this or that old habit, or actually abandon it entirely.
In the end you will have had no good from the new advice; but you will almost certainly feel you have given it a fair trial and it has failed.
Your mistake will have been that you tired yourself out and exhausted your good intentions before you had a chance to see whether or not the program was the right one for you.
This resonated with me– as few “motivational” essays or calls for “visualization” have:
This is not a plea to abandon the will. There will be times and occasions when only the whole weight of the will brought to bear on the matter in hand will prove effective.
But the imagination plays a far greater role in our lives than we customarily acknowledge, though any teacher can tell you how great an advocate the imagination is when a child is to be led into a changed course.