Habits

Thus far in my blogging, I simply begin writing and discover what is ruminating in my mind as I write. My post about meditation is so far the only exception. This post however follows the pattern of spontaneity that I tend to enjoy. I find that when my mind is able to roam free without a basis to adhere to, I produce something more original. I suppose part of the aim is originality whilst following a general trend of personal growth through knowledge and health. However, last night, I was laying in my bed and was contemplating about habits. When I approach an issue, I tend to do so with the intent to uncover the most fundamental aspects of the thought. This is how my mind works, because I feel as though when I discover the foundational parts of an issue, there is generally some insight to be analyzed. This mode of thinking last night drew me into habits and how the more habits we add to our lives, the more control we end up having about the direction. It appears that humans in this modern age are the summation of their daily habits. Sometimes we can have a mix of bad and good habits, and this seems to be generally the case. I think that often times we do not fully realize the habits we have created. Habits are not always actions, they are thoughts too. Our thoughts can become so familiar to us that we forget to notice how repetitive they can be. If these habitual thoughts are negative, and we are unaware of our repeated entertaining of these thoughts, I can only imagine we would drive ourselves into the ground. Surely we have all seen the quotes about gaining and harnessing control over our minds, but obviously that is easier said than done. Why is it that gaining control over our minds is so hard? I propose this is so because of habits, over time we are not able to tell our thoughts apart from one another. They morph and escape detection. I wonder what kinds of thoughts people have, and then how they respond to their own thoughts. For instance, murder is abhorrent, but if one thinks of murder and they in their imagination are the perpetrator, but they would never commit an actual murderer, how does one treat such a thought? It is only a thought, so does this thought just fleet away and normal life continues? Or does that person recoil and condemn themselves for the thought, and does it affect their day? There are many people out there, certainly both sides of this thought process have played out. What then is the proper way of thinking about such an issue, what if this thought process is unwanted but habitual? Are these thoughts a necessary aspect of growth? How do we break these mental habits in order to become closer to being the greatest version of ourselves? I believe the answer lies within embracing ones mind. Our minds are so complex, and we do not understand them, nor can we ever separate from them. Hence, I feel it is necessary to meld with it, to embrace it wholly. I appears to me that it is only after we have done this can we begin to shape our mental habits. So what does that entail, to the best of my estimation it entails objectivity toward ones mind. In a sense we have the choice of treating our minds like we would the time in our day. Our time is important to us and so should our thoughts, so when thoughts that are negative crop up, we see them, recognize them, and pass them by making a note that we do not want them. Or perhaps we reconstruct the negative thought and turn it into something worth thinking so that next time this unpleasant thought appears, we can replace it swiftly. This too is hard, because for some reason, we are largely unable to separate our thoughts from ourselves. Thus when a thought emerges and perhaps it is negative we tend to drive it to the ground, think it through to no avail, and moments later emerge from what was akin to a dream only to find nothing in our tangible reality has changed but instead our minds have been shuffled. We may then carry the imagined reality with us though the day until we fall asleep and in a sense reset our minds for the next day. It appears to me that this could result in a vicious cycle, and over time erode a person. It is no secret that meditation is a great tool here for recognizing thoughts for what they are and objectively moving forward. This now ties into the original point of habits. We all must start somewhere, and we can start with meditation which is easy to manage and also gives us a little more control over noticing our thoughts. Over time, we can add habits, notice unhealthy ones, and soon we have a pile of healthy habits that contribute to our well being.