Habits are ‘field- paths’ which are formed by repetition. Villagers as a rule do not deliberately make a footpath to the next village. They just go the shortest or easiest way over the fields. Day after day people go and come the same way. Their feat tread down the grass and beat the earth hard. By their repeated walking on the same way in the same direction a track or path is made. In the same way, the more often we do anything in the same way, the more often we do anything in the same way or at the same time, the more we do it. At last a habit is formed.
Man is a bundle of habits; in a word there is not a quality or function either of body or mind which does not feel the influence of this great law of nature. Habit is a ten – time nature.
In the beginning there is just an impulse, i.e., an immediate thought to do something. A child often has an impulse to do a thing. Almost everything is an impulse with a little child and nothing can be called habit. It is this impulse which leads to habit formation. However, as one grows older this impulse becomes a habit and gets fixed.
It is, therefore, in childhood that the right habits can be formed. Only right habits make our future life safe. One must know that the chains of habit are generally too small to be felt untill they are too strong to be broken. Once one learns to behave in a particular way, one can’t get rid of this style, even if one tried the hardest to break loose of it.
It is often seen that it is easy to form bad habits. Have you ever wondered why it is easy to form bad habits and so hard to form good ones?
The reason is very simple and plain. Our natural inclination is to take the line of least resistance. We like to take the easiest course. It requires at first an effort to take the more difficult of two possible courses of action. For instance, it is easier to lie in bed on a cold morning than to get up early. It is easier to tell a lie than to own up and take punishment for a fault. It is easier to put off today’s duties to tomorrow than to do them at the right time.
Now that a bad habit is formed by repetition, every time we yield to a temptation, it makes it easier to yield and harder to resist the next time. So we form the habits of lziness,lying and unpunctuality. Happily, good habits are formed the same way. The forming of them calls for effort and determination at first, but every time we resist temptation and do what is in the long run wise and good, we make the next struggle less severe. At last we form the good habit which would be hard to break even if we wanted to break it.
Get into the habit of early rising and you will not want to lie in bed like lazy bones. Get into the habit of using polite words in your interaction with others, you will find it really hard to use abusive language. You won’t be able to show your disgust by calling names. Get into habt of doing today’s work today and you will feel uncomfortable if you
have to put anything off till tomorrow.
Habit forming is very important, for character is simply a bundle of habits. If we form good habits, we build up a good character; if we form bad habits we form a bad character. Good habits are a passport to a good life..
Bad habits are as infectious by example as the plague itself is by contact, said fielding. It is a very true observation indeed. Most smokers, drinkers and drug addicts fall in this category. In the beginning, they feel attracted towards this, as some of their peers flaunt this vice. They show a false sense of bravado, which makes their weaker minds to become victims in course of time. The first puff of cigarette, the first sip of a drink or a pivch of any drug is taken just for fun’s sake. Not that it is really very pleasant, but they get applauded for doing a wrong thing. This tickles their ego and they return to ‘smoke’ and ‘drink’ again and again.. the drug addicts ruin themselves completely. They get trapped into this habit so badly that they go to any length to procure drugs for themselves.
Drugs are very expensive so they literally beg, borrow or steal to satisfy this urge of theirs. One should avoid the company of people with such infectious habits.
So, we see good habits are a result of our conscious efforts to acquire them by repeated good actions, thought and speech.
A bangle seller roamed the streets of a city with his mule laden with colourful bangles. He sold the bangles. While driving his mule through the streets, he would often say ‘Come on my sister, let’s hurry. Our day’s work is not done yet.’ People laughed at this funny habit of the bangle seller. Once a person asked him, ‘why do you address the animal as your sister? Instead of flogging it for delay and disobedience you coax and cajole it for cooperation.
On this the bangle seller said, I vend my wares to the worthy ladies of rich house holds. So I have formed this habit of using good and polite words only so that I may not utter any foul language, ever infront of them.’
His reply made the man realise the importance of forming good habits. He thought of these words:
“ Sow an act and you reapa habit,
Sow a habit and you reap a character
Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”