Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Inspiring Quotes of the Week + super bonuses!


Thoughts, Actions, and Habits

By Dharmbir Rai Sharma

Every action has its origin in a thought. Every thought, of course, does not get translated into action, which means that the mind analyzes the thoughts before taking the next step. Any reasonable person will therefore think before acting. There are actions that are instinctive but these are exceptions. In general, actions taken without thinking are either ineffective or destructive. The completed action gives a sense of pleasure directly or indirectly through the satisfaction of some desire. The pleasure may be physical or nonphysical. If the sensation of pleasure is strong enough, the mind craves for it and the action is repeated. It is this repetition that develops into habit. So habit is essentially a continuation of some action and it can be carried on consciously or subconsciously.

Habits can be good or bad, innocuous or grave and they may even determine the kind of life one has. That is why so much emphasis is given to cultivating good habits. In that sense man creates his own destiny through his actions.

It is important to remember, though, that the person creates the habit, the habit does not create the person. Irrespective of the nature of the habit (good or bad) one should never lose the control. It is therefore essential to watch the action constantly and not let it become a mechanical process.

A clear understanding of what habit is helps one in keeping control over the action. If one loses this control, one becomes slave to the habit; this may lead to bad, even disastrous consequences. At the very least one loses sight of the goal of the action and the mind is no longer aware of what is happening.

One of my favorite stories of Noble Laureate Tagore* gives a vivid example of what happens when the habit becomes purely mechanical. The complete story (a poem in the original) is quoted below.

A wandering madman was seeking the touchstone, with matted locks, tawny and dust-laden, and body worn to a shadow, his lips tight-pressed, like the shut-up doors of his heart, his burning eyes like the lamp of a glow-worm seeking its mate.

Before him the endless ocean roared. The garrulous waves ceaselessly talked of hidden treasures, mocking the ignorance that knew not their meaning.

Maybe he now had no hope remaining, yet he would not rest, for the search had become his life -- just as the ocean forever lifts its arms to the sky for the unattainable. Even so on the lonely shore the madman with dusty tawny locks still roamed in search of the touchstone.

One day a village boy came up and asked, "Tell me, where did you come at this golden chain about your waist?" The madman startled - the chain that once was iron was verily gold; it was not a dream, but he did not know when it had changed. He struck his forehead wildly - where, O where had he without knowing it achieved success? It had grown into a habit, to pick up pebbles and touch the chain, and to throw them away without looking to see if a change had come; thus the madman found and lost the touchstone.

The sun was sinking low in the west, the sky was gold. The madman returned on his footsteps to seek anew the lost treasure, with his strength gone, his body bent, and his heart in the dust, like a tree uprooted.

(Taken from 'Collected Poems and Plays of Ravindranath Tagore', MacMillan Company, 1961, pp 107-108.)

*The original family name was Thakur. Like so many other Bengali surnames it was anglicized and very few people are aware of it.
Dharmbir Rai Sharma is a retired professor with an electrical engineering and physics background.

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

comment

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training is our series of online, interactive video workshops. We present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches.
The human heart made visible.

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd
F
R
E
E

H
E
L
P