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Universal Laws >>> Habit and Mind

What is a Habit?

If we need to pick a single topic to learn, it must be Self-Analysis. But unfortunately, it is neither taught in schools, universities, or homes. If we want to understand ourselves, we need to analyze our personality by understanding our habit patterns. Habit patterns and thoughts are revealed through behavior. When we examine our personality, we realize that our personality is nothing but deep-rooted habits. We try to change our personalities but cannot because of these habit patterns. A habit is a powerful thing. That which we have done repeatedly is our habit. The Divine dwells in the saint, as well as in the thief. The only difference is how people act. Our actions come from our habits.

The more we repeat something over and over, the more it creates a great, deep groove in our mind, and then that eventually becomes a habit. These habit patterns create our inner nature, our likes/dislikes, our capacities and limitations, our biases and prejudices etc. We all are born with a certain personality trait because of these mental impressions. This is an old saying: An act becomes a habit; habit makes a character, and the character makes destiny.

Where are Habits stored?

All habits are ultimately stored in our Mind's Chitta/storehouse. To understand habit patterns, we need to thoroughly understand the working of the mind with its four functions (as explained in the Mind article). Habits are motivations (good/wrong) in life. The mind always leads us toward our habits, senses, and objects. Sometimes we do something because it is our habit without consciously realizing it. Unconscious habits are stronger than conscious habits; even conscious habits are rooted in unconsciousness.

How to change a bad Habit

The first thing we need to do is to analyze the current habit patterns and then determine what habits are bad for us. Next, we need to create new grooves for our minds. If we do something according to a specific schedule, that regularity of time benefits our minds. Because time is a prime condition of the mind, it is an excellent factor in strengthening our practice. Habits are formed because we have repeated some action or thought repeatedly. Then, we unconsciously do it; eventually, it is a full-fledged habit.

When we understand that all our habits are formed by repeating some action or thought repeatedly, we can learn another process: undoing and changing our habits. So, please practice meditation every day at the same place and time; eventually, it will become a strong habit and help us on God's path.

  • It takes 40 days to break an old habit.
  • It takes 90 days to establish a new habit.
  • It takes 120 days for this new habit to get ingrained.
  • It takes 1000 days to fully master this new habit to a point where it’s second nature.

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