Transform Your Life by Transforming Your Habits
We often complain about the current state of affairs while fantasizing about what could have been. In the end, our life becomes a giant culmination of things we could have done and the chances we missed. What we fail to realize is that if we never leap, the situation we are in would never change. We tend to look at events in isolation and miss out on the grand scheme of things. This tendency of ours prevents us from striving towards change, suspending us in the limbo of mediocrity. If we wish to turn our life over and start a new journey, we must begin by changing the individual habits that are keeping us firmly rooted in our discontented lives. Even if we are already happy with the way things are, there are always greener pastures we can move to by tweaking our habits a little.
Our attitude, which is a set of beliefs, inclinations or emotions, towards the happenings of our lives is a predominant determinant of our actions. To bring about change in our lives, we must believe that we are capable of it. Self-efficacy is a core competency without which a person can not sail through his or her life. Belief in ourselves is indispensable, and when we start losing it, we start losing the ability to steer our lives in the direction we want. Our upbringing greatly influences that way we see the problems in our lives. However, we should not think that the attitudes instilled in us in childhood are set in stone. We have control over our minds and bodies, and we mustn’t forget that. As long as we recognise and unlearn our problematic behaviour, we are on the path of progress.
We see people put a lot of store in their destiny. While the stars tell us about our past, present, and future, they also reflect our karma. Hindu traditions have always been firmly rooted in fate, and we often hear elders telling us to trust the heavens above. How, then, do we draw the line between taking charge of our lives and leaving it to the Gods? The answer is quite simple. We should have an unwavering belief in the benevolence of Gods and never let skepticism and malevolent thoughts take over. At the same time, we must perform our worldly duties with the utmost care, for that is what God had planned for us. When we encounter obstacles, we must actively engage with them and not leave them for the heavens to solve. Hence, the first step towards changing our habits is changing the mindset that prevents us from taking the reins of our life.
We can turn to spirituality for additional assistance in our lives. Spiritual people are not God-men, but simply are the people who chose to not let material life dominate their psyche. Since incorporating spirituality into our lifestyle is a confusing and uphill task, we can begin by adopting simple habits and gradually move towards the difficult ones. One of the easiest habits to adopt is to smile more. Studies have shown that smiling more makes us feel happier. Once we begin to smile even in the face of hardships, we would derive strength from your inner happiness.
We tend to complain about a lot of things in life. Before complaining, we should ask ourselves; Can we do something about it? If there is nothing that can be done, we can do nothing but pray to God, hoping that she hears our pleas. If we find that something can be done about the situation, we must get right to it without complaint, because it is our duty or dharma to do so. Once we take a proactive approach to the problems in our lives, we’ll find that there weren’t many, to begin with, and most could have been solved with a little effort on our part.
Chanting mantras could provide us with the strength we never thought we possessed. We could start by chanting the Gayatri Mantra for five minutes every day. A visible change in our manner of thinking and reacting to problems occurs after a few days of chanting. The practice of chanting is prevalent in Buddhist circles all over the world due to its ease and effectiveness. Meditating regularly, if only for ten minutes, also sets our mind at ease and makes it more receptive to positive changes in the future. This directly relates to self-efficacy, as only a strong and in-charge mind could attempt to bring about substantial change.
Focus on our mind and soul would be wasted if we do not keep our bodies healthy. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is extremely important. But, this fact of life is often ignored by those who are under a lot of stress. This starts a vicious downward spiral towards worse habits and eventually culminates in substance abuse and dependence. Our body is a temple, and we must treat it with the same respect we do to holy places. If it helps, we can view our body as God’s creation which is not to be tampered with. Healthy physicality produces excellent results over some time. Besides, exercising instils a sense of routine and structure that helps in planning our lives.
It is important to keep in mind that habits take time to form. We can’t expect an overnight transformation. If we are planning to make big changes in our lives, we should start small. Adopting little changes along the way to a better lifestyle is the most effective method to bring about a sustainable change. We need to prevent relapse into our old habits, and for that, a gradual but concrete movement towards better choices is universally preferred. Above everything, we must sail through the difficulties with a set purpose. If we have the end goal in sight, we could even overturn habits that are very hard to shake. So, we must find purpose and meaning in life before setting stride.