“Habit is the most prominent challenge along the path of realigning our lives with a higher destiny of true happiness. Habit is a powerful seed that can bring forth poisonous creations that continuously mislead us or it can blossom soul-nurturing fruits that guide the way to godliness.”
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna often repeats to Arjuna to beware of the endless temptations and ensnarements of destructive habits. Our habits often run deep into our subconscious and therefore have an overwhelming power over us if we’re not careful and present in the moment to catch their automatic reactive nature. If we are not present we might miss it because it can be like trying to curtail or stop an instinct that occurs without any possible thought or hesitation. It’s as if we come to a fork in the road every time a habit has an opportunity to express itself, and if we’re not careful, it will keep choosing the path that we know leads us to what we don’t want. Everyone’s habits inevitably express themselves to varying degrees and also can be broken or recreated with ease or struggle depending on the individual and the level of our attachments to them. First and foremost however, we must see that in order to improve our lives in any area we must rid ourselves of destructive habits of limiting beliefs, thoughts, deeds, and the company we keep. What we believe, think about, and the company we keep all profoundly influence and affect our actions and guide us down our road of destiny according to what we continue to feed and give attention to.
We might wonder why more people don’t change their lives and instead stay stuck in the same limiting patterns. With some observation, it becomes quite clear that entrapment is primarily due to the lure and snare of bad habits. Our habits can be our greatest source of success or our greatest downfall based on how we program them. No doubt, that a study of all great beings on this planet would reveal a common trend of good habits that led towards their dreams. Meanwhile a study of those struggling and suffering would reveal an intense addiction to the habits of limitation in belief, thought, deed, and company. The only way to uproot bad habits is through conviction of the will and a determination to be present minded and overcome temptations to regress, which can be admittedly addicting. It will not be easy but it will be worth it and you and your happiness are worth it.
With enough dedication, a habit begins to breakdown and its power over us weakens as we consciously acknowledge it, let it go, and replace it with right habits that lead to what it is we desire. Our goal of liberation must always be on the forefront of our mind in order to harness the incredible power of habit formation. After all, we are the product of what we believe, so be aware of what you allow into your mind at all times and you will see the persistent nature of your habits. As temptations arise, acknowledge them, stay strong and release them without judgment, and replace them with beliefs and thinking that is in agreement with your goals. It may seem almost maddening at first depending on the severity of the habit but with patience, discipline, and consistency it will become easier and you will begin to reap the rewards of your devotion with newfound peace and happiness.