Do you have a bad habit you would like to get rid of? You can eliminate it in a moment. All you have to do is put your mind to it.
Most people who make up their minds to stop smoking or to stop eating so many sweets will continue with those actions in spite of themselves. They do not change because their minds, like blotting paper, have soaked up habits of thought. Habit means that the mind believes it cannot get rid of a particular thought.
The nature of habit can be understood by this analogy: Clay can be molded into a vase; and while the clay is still soft it is easy to change the form of that vase again and again. But once it is fired in an oven, its shape becomes firmly set. So it is with your consciousness. Your thoughts are molding your action, and your mental convictions from the repetition of those actions is the fire that hardens the thoughts into unyielding thought patterns.
If you have molded clay into a vase and fired it, and now you want to make that object into a tray, you cannot do so. But you can pulverize the vase and add that powder to fresh clay, and then form it into a tray. Likewise, when a bad habit is fixed in your mind and you want to change it, you will have to use your strong will to pulverize that habit and absorb it into fresh, pliable good actions that can be remolded to the desired image. Strong will means strong conviction. The minute you say to yourself, “I am not bound by this habit,” and mean it, the habit will be gone.
Yogananda practiced what he preached. One of his devotees recounted:
[Yogananda] did not drink coffee. When he first came to this country, he did not know that coffee could become a habit. He drank it and wherever he went they served him coffee. One day he was alone, and when he could not get coffee and he missed it, he said to himself, “So you miss coffee do you? Very well then, you shall never drink it again.” And he never did. He used to tell us if a habit makes a slave of you, then it is time to quit.
Now that’s will power, which often is fueled by “won’t power”! As Yogananda pointed out, “The mind may tell you that you cannot free yourself from a particular habit; but habits are nothing but repetitions of your own thoughts, and these you have the capacity to change.”
So what are you waiting for? Pick up the hammer of your will power and smash that clay pot of your habit to smithereens!
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