Why can’t I maintain good habits no matter how much I try?
The simple answer is, you have too many bad habits overriding your good ones! Unfortunately, it starts and ends there.
So first, what exactly are habits? This is an excerpt from How to Have a Meeting with God, Buddha, Allah:
People form their own habits based on the ones inhereited from their ancestors and the ones added from their life lived.
There is mountains of research on the development of habits, and the consensus is that a habit is a function of the brain to automate our lives. For example, when you drive your car, are you consciously thinking “I need to turn the wheel now”, “I need to put my foot on the pedal to slow down”? No, it’s just automatic. Of course, when you first learnt you had to consciously think of it, then the brain does its thing, stores it in your reserves, and it becomes a part of your subconscious as a way of conserving energy. Imagine if we had to think just to breathe, how absolutely tiresome that would be?!
So now, if you want to have good habits, what would you need to do? Based on the above, all you need to do is do more of what you’re trying to do consciously in order to develop the good habit! Simple right?
Yes, and no. This takes tremendous will power and depending on how deeply ingrained a bad habit is depends on how easy it is to make a new, good habit. A deeply ingrained habit is one inherited from your ancestors, that you’ve layered on top with your own life, and it’s so ingrained in your mind that it’s thoroughly connected to many aspects of your life, including other habits.
At this point, your heart may sink at the thought of how deep and dark your own habits are and how insurmountable they may seem. But lucky for you, you have managed to stumble upon the right place with the right solution.
The solution is quite simple – simply discard the habits from your mind. Then, once you have sufficiently discarded those habits from your mind, then you have a clean foundation from which to develop those good habits you are striving for. Although it sounds simple, it can be incredibly challenging (again, depending on your habits).
The Method To Change Bad Habits
So, you’re probably wondering how to actually discard those habits from your mind, right? The process goes like this:
1) First, we must come to understand that the human mind is the mind of pictures. That is to say, the mind is composed entirely of pictures (thoughts, feelings, emotions) based on the life I have lived, built on top of the habits from my ancestors, stored inside this body
2) Once we understand clearly that these pictures are an illusion and the source of all our problems, we can begin to systematically clean those pictures from our mind step by step, layer by layer.
3) Through this process, we develop an awareness of ourselves – our false self, and our true self, which is the infinite, empty universe.
4) Once we have cleaned enough of the surface of our mind, with the universe mind, we can then see clearly the habits stored in the subconscious, and through the method, relentlessly discard them.
5) Then discard some more until the images of the habits no longer remain in our mind.
6) Finally, from there, once we have broken down the habits over time, we can start to build new habits, uninterrupted by the disgustingly dark habits that once occupied the mind.
This principle really applies to everything regarding our personal development. For some, making a new habit is quite easy if there isn’t an opposing habit which blocks it, but for others it may be next to impossible.
You're the only one who can change it for yourself.
So where do you sit? Where is your mind? How are your habits? Do you want to be free from them, or be eternally enslaved to your habits?
We can go on and on about this, but really, it’s something you must come to see and know for yourself, otherwise the knowledge is just useless. You must do it, otherwise there’s absolutely no point. So you see, there is hope? Another excerpt from How to Have a Meeting with God, Buddha, Allah:
It is very difficult to change one's habits and it is hard to overcome them without discarding them. In order to change your habits, you should discard the habits, which are the root of your mind, that is embedded in you. Then you can break your bad habits.
So, what will you do? Will you continue to let yourself be a slave to your habits, or will you now, armed with this knowledge, take the first steps towards radically transforming your life in a way beyond your imagination?
The choice is yours.