#metoo are we confused, metoo
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HABITS…. Good or bad; Who decides?

 

 

I am intrigued by that — who decides whether a habit is Good or Bad?

Man is a social animal who has laid down social constraints and norms labelling actions as Good or Bad.

The other day I was sitting in my garden with some friends. A family of monkeys crossed the boundary ramparts. Suddenly, one boisterous male climbed over a female and started making merry — oops — BAD HABIT! But who cares? –it is customary in the animal kingdom.

Can we dream of a similar situation amongst us? NO WAY!

As a child, my parents cautioned me and scolded me to:

Not picking my nose,

Not to slurp while chewing.

Not doing nail-biting.

Not talking out loud, etc.

Now, tell me, who doesn’t pick their nose when alone?

Try eating your food with loud slurps; wow, the taste and flavour upsurge.

Don’t these social norms bar us from doing certain things that might otherwise give us a sense of deep pleasure?

I am not preaching here to celebrate our bad habits.

“Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry.WARREN BUFFET.

While in medical school, I remember holding a fag in one hand and taking a mock puff to impress others. Thank God! This small, farce gesture did not turn into a lifetime addiction. It’s the motivation that gets you started, but the Habit is what keeps you going.

The best time to correct a bad habit is immediately before it becomes established. Bad habits are best prevented from developing in childhood.

Drugs, Smoking and Alcoholism started as a fad – soon to become a habit – leading to Addiction. Then comes the state when life starts getting ruined and eventually tumbles down.

Your Bad Habits begin at a slow pace, and before you can gain control of your possession, the Habit has you.

 

Someone suggested that in order to Break a Bad Habit permanently, you should love something more significant than the Bad Habit.

Well, I have a solid example to prove it. My late Uncle was a chain smoker for more than forty years. He consumed more than twenty fags a day. One fine day, his beloved nephew –that’s me–pleaded with him to quit smoking. Somehow, my love superseded his urge, and Uncle promised to quit. He did but had a terrible time over the next few days because of the nicotine depletion. But in the end, he won the battle.

It is primarily a question of one’s Willpower. The critical factor in distinguishing a bad habit from Addiction or Mental Disease is the element of Willpower.

There is a whole lot of research on habit formation. An individual can acquire a new habit on average over sixty-six days. The process is marked by an asymptomatic increase in behaviour, with the initial acceleration slowing to a plateau after the said period. Smoking and Alcoholism may, however, take longer.

Bad habits are not always related to the consumption of addicts or bad and unsocial behaviour.

What about specific personality traits that reveal damaging behaviour?

*Habit of postponing jobs and tasks – like, not being in the mood to do something else. Stalling becomes a lifelong tendency. People love to live a laidback life, affecting their families and relationships.

*Leading a Mediocre Life – This is not the money that makes one lead a mediocre life; it’s the attitude towards life that makes it so. The zest for growth halts, and he forces mediocrity upon everyone around him.

*Avoiding Facing Problems – Running away is a common tendency. Such people develop phobias, the most common of which are facing exams and competitions. There was a group of boys in the medical school who always looked for a postponement of their exams.

*Thinking that the world revolves around you – taking the reins and posing as Prima Dona – “Who is the maker?!” Throwing away the weight of money or assets and showing up at social gatherings.

*Constantly complaining about things and blaming people for any wrongdoing. “I am Mister Perfect”–It’s the world and the people around it who are to blame for everything.

*Trying to become something that you are not and can’t be—having the worst of FOMO [Fear of missing out] and putting your head in everything and trying to prove worthy of an ongoing action or activity.

*Brooding in the Past and Trying to Live in the Future –In our times, things were so good—the present generation is so uncouth – prices are sky-high.” — “I have planned all my money and assets for a healthy and luxurious future.” – as if the present is worthless and meaningless.

*Thinking negatively about everything, making people feel negative about themselves Just quoting an example — “I am driving to Delhi tomorrow in my car,” I told my friend, Mr Gupta. “Oh, OK, but please be careful; this is unsafe driving these days as so many accidents are taking place,” Gupta jee said. I felt like banging Gupta jees head against the wall. Negative people don’t do anything in their lives because they are loaded with negativity all the time. They have to spill it onto the people around them.

I am sure that many more such bad habits could have been quoted.

But the best cure for one’s destructive tendencies is to see them in action in another person’s life.

“The truth is that you don’t break a bad habit; you replace it with a good one.”

 

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE –

Some flaws or defects are actually helpful in some ways.

*constant fidgeting – some people just can’t sit idle. They have to either shake their bodies or, most commonly, their legs. This looks abnormal – but it burns calories.

*Chewing gum – some people have to chew like a buffalo constantly. Have you seen cricketers or other sportspeople chewing gum? A bad habit, but it enhances vigilance and makes the person more alert.

*Day Dreaming – Numerous studies are proving that daydreaming helps in solving common day-to-day problems.

*Swearing – to swear to tell the truth or give an oath actually reduces pain and stress. Think about the people who keep swearing all the time or saying ‘touch wood’ by touching their heads.

 

My favourite quote –

“Bad Habits Are Easier to Abandon TODAY than TOMORROW.”

“who says quitting smoking is difficult? I do it every day.”

 

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4 Comments

  1. Ramesh Narula says:

    Nice write up. I hope this should be helpful who desire to leave a bad habit

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      thanks a lot, dear. I hope so that some people take the cue and improve their life….. regards

  2. Dr Rakesh Bhatia says:

    Very interesting write-up!!

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      Thanks a lot, Rakesh…regards

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