Alumni Story- Living & Learning
Ramesh Kuppuswamy, EEP 2008, an alumnus of IIMB was a Colonel in the India Army with over twenty years of service to the Country before he switched over to the Corporate World. He is the Program Manager-Implementation at CISCO Advanced Systems, India. He is the author of the Book “Revelation of Path Walked” & is the founder of Aikya-Oneness Foundation.
He gives us an opportunity to see his brilliant display of his talent in writing through the below article-
Mindfulness, A Way to Break Bad Habits…
A usual scene in the offices is to see some of the colleagues going out for a smoke. The strict timing and pattern are adhered to for this activity in a day. As the famous idiom goes, “birds of a feather flock together”. A category of people moves out together in the pretext to feel fresh air. This is not only applicable to smokers, but many other activities including craving for food, liquor, drugs, Sex, Social Medias and so on. An endless list that slaves us leaving behind good moments that could have been shared with relationships or pursuing a passion.
A habit turns into an addiction when the activity is performed for a period. Most habits adopted do not give a real happiness or peace that one is longing for. Then, one waits for the first day of a new year to make a resolution to do away. Some make it, but most break it. Even, those who make it may succumb to a strong thought or circumstance to resume. We have seen many around us or maybe we are one among them in this pursuit to break a habit.
An amount of introspection is required to understand oneself as to how the human psychology works in forming a habit and then turning into an addiction. There is a “trigger“ in the mind from the thought within or through an external source of that desire. The thought may come from the first experience that one had. The mind process it with a zip speed to virtually give the goodness about it or take you through the experience. A pattern that can be defined as a “behavior“. That sets the ball into an action to make it happen, a “reward“ one gives it to himself. One tends to pursue this habit in the shadow of social identity, manhood, stress, loneliness, sadness or happiness, as one may find it comfortable to console himself for the act. This becomes repetitive when one sets himself to explore to make every experience more rewarding. A prolonged period of pursuing of such habits then become an addiction.
Many live in a sense of guilt, but one may not reflect it outside. A false sense of happiness that is hyped to tell others as the best, to deceive oneself. A way to shield the volley of questions from their own consciousness losing all self-respect to hold it.
One can make a conscious choice to get over it. Sustaining it becomes a difficult task, as the mind is used to and enjoys the cyclic pattern of trigger-behavior-reward. Then, every time is the last time. But, that last time doesn’t happen until and unless it has an impact on health and puts one into a prolonged medication, keeping away from that habit.
Mindfulness is a way to break this. A basic human ability to be present, aware of where we are and what we are doing. It can be made into a habit, as every time there is a trigger stimulating to pursue the habit. The method may be simple, sustaining may be a bit tough but the result is most joyful. When there is an “urge“ post the trigger, just experience the feelings and emotions that are running within. Be “curious“ every time to do this. Make a conscious choice to postpone that act in a way to “let go” at that moment. Make it repetitive to see it becoming a healthy habit to pat every time you do.
When I have the choice to make a habit, then I should be strong enough to drop it too. When one loves himself, he will not pursue anything that is not healthy. Love yourself to love others. Stay Healthy and Peaceful.