Our habits seem to operate the way automatic pilots control airplanes. This is the reason so many people are not even aware of their habits as habits and believe that the way they act is just the way they are or is just human nature. Unfortunately for all of us, both the people content to operate on automatic pilot and a surprising amount of those who have become aware of their habits also believe that changing a person’s habits is unnatural, unnecessary, or difficult to the point of being impossible. These are the people who do not make any effort to deal with their bad habits and we all pay the consequences of their inaction, though not as dearly as they do.
Most people know the basics of what they should be doing to be safe, healthy, successful, and to accomplish their goals, and yet all of us experience going against what we know consciously is best for us. It is as if a separate part of us deep inside our brain operates us the way it wants to, no matter what we have said is the way we want to act. It can be a relatively mild habit or a full-blown compulsion, but either one shows us our unconscious mind at work and it is often the result of the habits that we have absorbed unconsciously or created as self-protective reactions to stressful or unpleasant situations.
If, as children, behaving a certain way made us feel secure, important, or otherwise got us what we wanted, then we probably continued to behave that way and may still do so, even when that kind of behavior is not appropriate or even self-destructive. The child we were still lives within us and we all know how stubborn a child can be when he decides that he wants what he wants and that’s all that matters.
It is important to be as aware of our mental habits as we can be so that we can cultivate the habits that help us and replace the habits that hurt with habits that heal. Otherwise, our habitual behavior is going to sabotage even our best efforts to live well and help those we care about.
As you become a conscious-choice maker, you will find that you experience more and more joy and happiness in your life on a daily basis. Here is an affirmation for you to use:
“I shine awarenesss and compassion on my past and on my habitual behavior. ”