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Be habitually good

Today is Gandhi Jayanti and nothing would be a greater tribute than following him. Let's recall his, "Your beliefs become your thoughts/ your thoughts become your words/ your words become your action/your action becomes your habits… "

india Updated: Oct 01, 2012 23:59 IST
PP Wangchuk
PP Wangchuk
Hindustan Times

Today is Gandhi Jayanti and nothing would be a greater tribute than following him. Let's recall his, "Your beliefs become your thoughts/ your thoughts become your words/ your words become your action/your action becomes your habits… "

Gandhi wanted us to realise that most of us are unfortunate prisoners of our habits. Even though we are aware that what we are thinking about, acting, eating and drinking maybe morally and physically bad, yet we "commit" these sins without any compunction because we are helpless slaves to our habits.

What makes a habit? A repeated act of any practice takes shape as a habit--- good or bad. Once you acquire a good habit and you repeat it, it becomes the driving force of your life to an extent that you reach a stage on the verge of self-realisation. That is why Sean Covey says in his widely-acclaimed ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens', "You become what you repeatedly do."

And, one does not even get to realise that one has acquired bad habits. Various factors – one's upbringing, society one lives in and other external forces--- play a role in what habit one picks up. What's worse, one born and brought up among thieves and thugs, for instance, can hardly have an opportunity to become a law-abiding and conscientious citizen.

John Irvin said good habits are worth being fanatical about. One has to be determined and must make a conscious effort. Only a man of thoughtful care and loving kindness can do this. Lesser mortals will keep on accumulating the sins of their bad habits until they are too overburdened, and too late.

How to go about junking bad habits? To use a cliché, nothing is impossible. First of all, one must realise the importance of life's journey and its goal. Having done that, one has to be a man of strong will power and positive thinking to give up habits that have been dragging one for years.

First Published: Oct 01, 2012 23:57 IST