Every Ramadhan Sadik wouldn’t touch a single cigarette for the entire thirty days. And towards the end he would promise himself that post Eid also he would quit smoking completely.
“Yes! I can do it.”
But in the very next friends’ gathering, someone would tempt him,
“C’mon man! You deserve to celebrate and reward yourself for the willpower you showed this whole month. Just one or two will not bring back the bad habit.”
And there Sadik’s oath and determination goes down the drain.
Including Pratham they were six siblings, three brothers and three sisters. All married and well settled with their families. They were close knit and communication on whatsapp and phone calls was a daily routine. At times they all got together on conference calls and chatted for hours at a stretch. But one dangerously bad habit Pratham and all his siblings had was.. gossiping. There was ample love between them and would stand by whole heartedly in times of need. Nonetheless, they couldn’t stop bitching about one to the other. And ironically, they loved each other.
Habit: good or bad, how else can we understand it? A weakness, a craving or a fixation. Something which started off occasionally and then you got into it so much that now it’s become like your second nature.
It could be anything. As small as biting your nails or as big as drinking.
When do we recognise that a particular habit is bad? Easy. If it is annoying to others or interfering with our health and reputation, then obviously it comes under the category of BAD HABIT.
If you have learnt something, you need to unlearn it. While the habit was developing, it was casual and gradually seeped into you. But now to break the unwanted practice, it will definitely demand your conscious effort and smart planning.
Most of the time we blame our circumstances, workload or stress level and feel that the bad habit is the result of these aspects.
“I was so stressed out today, that I didn’t realise when two packs of cigarettes got over.”
Why didn’t you think of going for a walk or meditate for sometime?
“I almost gulped down a dozen cups of coffee yesterday when working on my presentation and then I had zero appetite for dinner.”
Why didn’t you think of lemon and honey?
Nothing and certainly no one is to be accused of our doings. Be man enough and take the responsibility of your bad habit. It’s only because of us.
Problem is that we know a particular habit is bad and we need to get rid of it, and yet we become slaves to it. Let’s try something innovative to cut the undesirable pattern.
As I said earlier, conscious effort is required. The willingness to change for the better. A good idea would be diversion. Every time you feel the pull towards your bad habit, divert your mind to something positive.
For example, Pratham’s gossiping was going out of hands and his wife Sarita wanted to do something about it. She made him realise the consequences of what could happen if his siblings found out. It would lead to big time fights. She gave him a solution.
“Every time you feel like back biting, start talking about the recent movie or TV serial you saw. Believe me you’ll have plenty to say and stay connected with your brothers and sisters.” It worked.
Get rid of temptations that trigger the bad habits. Don’t keep chocolates in the fridge if it keeps calling you. Delete the game from your mobile if you can’t but want to stop playing it. Put your phone on flight mode if you wish to avoid peeping into it every five seconds.
To break the bad old, indulge into something new and good. I’ll talk about myself here. I’m trying my best to avoid coffee, though I drink it only once in a day. And yet I want to change that. So now I’ve started drinking cold milk. I like it just the same. It’s only a myth that coffee is a craving and I can’t do without it. The entire secret is in the mind set and how you train yourself.
It’s also a fab idea to ask someone to remind you, every time you get the yearning to get into your spoiling blemishes. Remember not to get irritated because you’d asked for it.
Take a moment and give some thought. Scrutinize the outcome of your unpleasant practice. Is it something impossible to live without? Is it really needed? How damaging has it been so far? Can you experiment for a day, minus the bad habit and see what happens?
Life is all about what we do and what we don’t do. Everything has a counter reaction. Know the famous quote?
“Good begets good and evil begets evil.”
Habits are completely in our hands. Like the remote of our television. The on and off is totally in our control. Then why and how can we become slaves to it? Think!