Form good habit
Most of our behavior is habitual. It comes automatically without thinking. Character is the sum total of our habits. If a person has a positive habit, then he considered a positive character. A person with negative habits is a negative character. Habits are a lot stronger than logic and reasoning. Habits start by being too weak to be felt, and end up becoming too strong to get out of. Habits can be developed by default or determination. You should form good habits because habits form your character.
How do we form habits?
Anything we do repeatedly becomes a habit. We learn by doing. By behaving courageously, we learn courage. By practicing honesty and fairness, we learn these traits. By practicing these traits, we master them. Similarly if we practice negative traits such as dishonesty, unjust behavior, or lack of discipline, that is what we become good at. Attitudes are habits. They are behavior patterns. They become a state of mind and dictate our responses.
Most of our behavior comes as a result of conditioning – it is habitual. If we want to do anything well, it must become automatic. If we have to consciously think about doing the right thing we will never be able to do it well. That means we must make it a habit. We are all being conditioned continuously by the environment and the media, and we start behaving like robots. It is our responsibility to condition ourselves in a positive manner.
Like a student of martial arts, even they have the black belts, still practicing block/punch, the basics, because if they needed to use the skills, they had to come automatically. Good habits are hard to come by but easy to live with. Bad habits come easy and hard to live with.
How do we get conditioned?
Think of the mighty elephant that can lift in excess of a ton of weight with just its trunk. How do they condition the elephant to stay in one place with a weak rope and a stake? The elephant, when it is a baby, is tied to a strong chain and a strong tree. The baby is weak but the chain and tree are strong. The baby is not used to being tied. So it keeps tugging and pulling the chain, all in vain. A day comes when it realizes that all the tugging and pulling will not help. It stops and stands still. Now it is conditioned.
And when the baby elephant becomes the mighty giant elephant, he is tied with a weak rope and small stake. The elephant could, with one tug, walk away and free, but it goes nowhere, because it has been conditioned. Human beings are constantly being conditioned, consciously or unconsciously, by exposure to:
- The kind of books we read
- The kind of movies and TV programs we watch
- The kind of music we listen to
- The kind of company we keep
- The kind of environment we stay in
While driving to work, if we listen to the same music every day for several days, and if the tape deck breaks down, guess what tune we will be humming. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have gotten. The most difficult thing about changing a habit is unlearning what is not working and learning positive habits.
A Little Black Pen