Letting go of Habits

December 03, 2014

Some things we do every day. These things become habits automatically. Or it would make our life easier if they did become habits.

But if you are looking to add habits to your arsenal, which one to choose? There are so many out there. Waking up early? Meditating every day? Writing everyday? Learning something new everyday? Reading everyday? No-connectivity time everyday? De-cluttering for 10 mins in the morning and evening every day? Stream of consciousness writing everyday? Exercising in the morning everyday?

There are so many desirable habits out there. Once you start wanting to improve yourself by learning new habits and making your life more productive, you feel like the desire to implement them all in your life.

It is very much like a shopper going out-of-control with the desire to acquire – in this case, the desire to acquire all these habits.

Then, the questions to ask yourself are these – Do you absolutely need this good habit? At this point in your life, under your current living circumstances, does it make sense to try to cultivate this habit? If so what are the downsides? Will it stress you out? Are you trying to cultivate this habit because of HAS (Habit Acquisition Syndrome) or because you think someone else has this habit and so you want it too?

Because not all our lives are the same – and not all our priorities are the same. Even the good habits take some doing – and every one of us don’t need to do every single thing.

For a while, I used to write morning pages – as suggested by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artists Way’. 3 pages of long hand, on paper. While I was writing them, they helped me out tremendously, and got me to this place today. However, today, that particular habit is very hard to fit in my lifestyle, and if I do I have to give up on more important things in my life.

Not that anything is wrong with that habit – it is a great habit to have. But given the limitations of my time and my lifestyle and my current phase of life, I prefer to use that half an hour to try to write a little more coherently – like this piece.

Through each day, each year, each phase of life, we pick up habits, and things we like to do. But what I needed to realize is that like everything else, when we take on a habit, it is not / need not be with us forever – though some habits end up that way. All habits need to be let go at some point, so I can try living my life without it, and see if it really adds the value I think it is adding to my life.

Maybe let-go of the habit for just a short while – like getting up late if we travel to a different time zone, or not brushing your teeth if we go camping and forgot our toothbrush.

This letting go lets us know why we need that habit, and if you decide that it is not adding value to your life any more, so be it. Who knows, someday, you might need to reach back to that particular tool, that habit – in your arsenal to reach the next level of the spiral that life is.

Tags: Thoughts

Suprada Urval's blog.