My phone beeped as I got another memory full reminder. Searching through the file manager I searched for videos and photos that I could delete. Some of the media I hadn’t even seen. As I clicked onto one of the videos it gave me an option panel so as to select the software required to run it. After I made the selection another panel appeared which asked whether I always wanted to play such files with the selected software or just this time.
I selected the “always” option as I didn’t want to be bothered again by such a selection. I continued my ordeal of viewing and deleting the waste and keeping the useful. In the process I stumbled upon a video which didn’t play in the player I had earlier selected. I didn’t know how to change it because the options no more appeared ( a consequence of my “always” choice ) . I felt helpless and regretted the automatic choice I had taken. Not wasting more of my time in filtering my phone I smashed it on the sofa and left the place.
I headed towards the kitchen , the string of thoughts still continuing in my mind and unmindful of what to do next with my life , opened the refrigerator door and stared. I didn’t know for what I had done it, maybe to look for something to eat or pass my time or what! I just stood there and STARED. I closed it and searched for the TV remote-my next solace. But in that too I just kept flipping the channels nowhere to stop and judge what I wanted to see or do. Two minutes later I was standing in front of the refrigerator door and staring again at the contents inside. I suddenly realized that this was the second time I had opened it without any clear thought or motive. I mean I didn’t even THINK before getting up and landing at the same place for the second time. WAIT! How can I do something without thinking? And strange it was that I felt that almost 90% of the actions I perform everyday are without apparent thinking! I mean most of the time I don’t even think about the task that I do. Right from the route I follow to reach my college to the breakfast I order in the college canteen , everything is automated! I don’t think and guide myself in doing many things, all just happens! My mind and body are rarely together. Most of me is automated. My actions no longer seek my permission or ask me the way to do things. And that is what later becomes my habit!. Right HABIT!
What is basically a habit? It is automated way of working. Whenever we have to do something our mind works in three steps.
First a thought sprouts about a particular task. This thought is then CONSIDERED by the mind and a judgment is made whether the thought has to be followed or not. After the mind gives its decision our body is directed towards the action.
Take for example you are in an exam and you have a really difficult and important exam paper in front of you. You desperately feel the desire to cheat a particular answer but the problem is that you have never cheated in an exam before. So you happen to fall in a dilemma where you have to choose either your career or your values.
So in this instance the THOUGHT is “Should I cheat?” and this thought is given to the mind for judgment. The mind decides and makes a decision . Say the decision is in favor of cheating and a justification follows justifying the decision the mind takes. So the decision goes “Its okay to cheat. I am doing it for the first time because its my need otherwise my future may get destroyed”. And the action taken is cheating!
Now the second time you are sitting for an exam and in a similar situation the time you take for the decision making is comparatively less as you have earlier faced a similar situation. So the second time also the mind approves the task of cheating but with a comparatively lesser thinking .
But by the fifth time you are faced with the same situation you skip the second step and directly commit the action of cheating as you have justified yourself many times before! Whenever you are placed in a situation similar to this you just think of cheating and act directly without taking the decision or judging your thought.
This process in which we skip the judgment part and directly act on the basis of previous experiences it is called a habit. HABITS are an embodiment of the automated way of working!
As far as the daily chores are concerned these habits don’t really matter but when it comes to our behavior these play a major role. If someone tells me you are short tempered I mostly retort by saying that this is my way of working and I wont CHANGE. Its my habit.
And strange enough we all have our belief systems rigid enough to tell us that habits don’t change!
But we just realized that habits are nothing but actions which skipped the decision making part. So changing a habit means realizing the second step again!
But the real problem is that we make the habit OURS. We associate the habit with our personality. What we don’t realize is that it is something that I have ACQUIRED and not something that I always had. I consciously CHOSE a way of doing things and I still possess the power to ALTER it.
If I am addicted to smoking doesn’t mean I should start calling myself a SMOKER, because the moment you do so you start owning the habit more and gradually you start skipping the first step as well and you don’t even think before you take out a cigarette and start smoking it. The thought part also skips. What you are left with is action.
What we need to realize is that before I start owning the habit or sticking it to me I need to JUDGE! I need to pay attention to the second step again and make a decision that whether I need to continue with it or not. If I have the habit of crying at every small disaster that hits me doesn’t imply I have to call myself emotional. Its a habit and it is different from me. Just like the dress you wear is different and separate from your body and can be changed whenever you are willing to do so, similarly habits are different from me and there is no need to identify with them. You can change them when you will to.
There should be times when we should come out of our automated system and assess ourselves and our habits otherwise the ALWAYS feature may act as a trouble for us. So before approving your thoughts and taking decision, think carefully because these become habits and a way of thinking and changing them requires an extra effort plus extra time. Stop every morning to analyze the words that you use for yourselves and change them these in any way harm your personality. Not only this pay close attention to the thoughts you approve everyday as these become your lifetime labels.
The pencil writes leaving an impression,
presenting to me a lifetime suggestion,
the past reveals itself in the future pages,
leaving a mark for ages!
yes my decision today,
will take its say,
And shine above my intellect,
my knowledge and my every fact!
I am not a servant whom habits can dictate,
I am their master designing my fate!
Appearances are deceptive- yes its true,
depend on your yourself as there is no crew!
CHANGE what shows to the world,
A victorious flag higher in its position hurled!