Our beliefs build our character and habits shape our personality! Are our beliefs or habits gifts from destiny/divinity or products from our genes or DNA? Many tend to believe that it is; but that is not true. Our genes or DNA may influence some tendencies e.g. not recognizing impending dangers like legendary car racer – Michael Schumacher, being fearful or sensitive to changes. Most beliefs and habits get built unconsciously through our life time; though some form through our conscious efforts.
One of my former colleagues was very messy and disorganized; albeit very creative. His supervisor arranged couple of training programs to change him; but that would not have much impact. Subsequently, he got an opportunity to go to Germany on deputation for 2 year assignment. When he returned back, he had dramatically changed in his habits. He would keep his office highly organized and pay attention to every details. He became very conscious of what he would do; though this change came at the expense of his creativity!
On changing beliefs, there are several real stories on how life of famous or ordinary people saw a dramatic difference in their beliefs like believer of violence to become non-violent or honest ones becoming dishonest when faced with difficulties.
Above substantiates the fact that habits are what you harbor and beliefs are what you build! And when you build, you also acquire capability to break!!
How habits and beliefs are formed
Seed of habit or belief is an idea, which comes in your mind as a sequel to your observation. If this idea comes repetitively in your mind through seeing, reading, listening or thinking, it gets rooted in your mind.
Those ideas or thoughts, which result into physical activities on a repetitive basis becomes your habits. These physical activities do mean that your body sensory and nervous systems would work in sync with such thoughts. Thoughts, which remain mental but repetitive, become your beliefs. Beliefs would drive or impact your behavior and other ideas.
If you go back to early phase of evolution of human race or any other living being, habits were formed only for 2 basic reasons – Health and Safety. But, you consciously or unconsciously form many more habits, which have no relation with your health and safety e.g. getting angry when something does not get done, putting hands in pockets of trouser while talking to someone, lying down on sofa while watching TV and so on. Why do you need these habits? You never raise questions.
Observe carefully – habits, which have nothing to do to secure good health and safety, are either harmful or hurt your efficiency! These would kill your focus or health itself like smoking or taste for junk food!!
Original idea behind beliefs getting formed or developed is always that it gives you happiness or in layman’s term – peace of mind or comfort level. It is only later that belief which was meant to give happiness, takes shape of faith, fundamentalism or fanaticism!
All beliefs, which are not linked to your happiness, are actually banes! Belief of a boss that by empowering his employees, he would lose power is bunk. It is not aimed at happiness; it is meant to boost his ego, since he wants employees to gravitate towards him by becoming center of power. People seldom notice amount of beliefs that they hold, which are farcical, including so called corporate virtue – being paranoid!
Also, every belief has an ugly side – loss of openness and flexibility.
Challenge your habits and beliefs
If you find that your decency and dexterity do not deliver results, your honesty hurts, your sincerity sticks or you are trailing behind your peers despite terrific work, it certainly requires you to challenge and change your some of the habits and beliefs!
It is extremely relevant that –
- Your habits must be only those which would endure your health and safety.
- Your beliefs should only what would bring you happiness and do not hurt others.
Believe that it is only you who have built your habits and beliefs. What gets built also gets broken. Do not believe any psychiatrist, psychologist or physician, if they say or write to the contrary. You may need to overcome resistance that your mind can create. People have no clue how wrong habits hurt and beliefs belie what otherwise belong to you!
It is now high time that you take stock of and audit your habits and beliefs, list all those, which do not meet above 2 criteria and make an action plan to discard those gradually and with conviction.