2. What they will not teach you in college?(Habits)

I am delighted to be writing to you this week. I hope last week was a blast. Anyway this week it is more of a fundamental issue that we will talking about. First, as I said last week, this is not a quick fix situation, this reformation in your and my life takes time. But with an accountability partner it is rather easy to achieve this.
So, I generally ask my students what are habits? And they blurt out good and bad habits. They don’t give me the definition, they always give me the general classification of habits. Then I proceed to write these lines on the board:
Sow a thought, and you reap an act;                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
These lines don’t make any sense to them. Then I proceed to explain that if they wanted to get A grade, they actually think about it in their mind, and then they put effort(action), and when they continue doing this action(i.e studying like a routine) it becomes a habit. But for many of us and the students the thought is not a problem.
So let us look at these things in detail.
Character and destiny are different topics, and I will discuss about them later in the series.
  • Thoughts
Everything starts with the thinking. Even habits first with thinking. As we have grown up, we don’t realize how many thoughts run in our head. Only when we are doing something new we are conscious of the thought. (Like the first time you are driving the car, you are aware of everything.) In Think and Grow Rich much emphasis has been given to thoughts, and how they affect out performance.
Applying these things to the students, teachers must teach them how they are thinking. Start with the basics. Ask them to make two columns and ask them to list out their good and bad habits. Students sometimes write that they are greedy, and sometimes they watch too much of television and they lists these things ink the bad habits section. And by good habits they tend to think of helping others, studying well and so forth.
What we sow is very important? We can’t expect wheat after planting weeds. Nature just doesn’t work that way. Thus, it is imperative to put the right stuff in their mind, your mind and my mind. Thoughts can ruin us, or build us.
So how to dump good things into their mind. First the atmosphere is vital. Good atmosphere can unconsciously make them more positive and bad atmosphere can put negative thoughts.    
  • Actions
Actions are the difference between the person who simply thinks things and the one who actually does. When the thought is powerful enough, and when immediate action is taken then something ought to happen.
Actions always follow a sequence of definite plan. Without a definite plan it is not possible to take action. For example if you are meaning to wake up by 5 what is your definite plan? First, you would keep alarm, and most importantly you will go to bed early, and this is very important. You will have 80% chance of waking up early. But without a plan it will not be a success.
The Rule is simple: Show up first.
If you don’t want to do, then you must.
So you have continued to do this actions for quite some time. Then suddenly something magical happens. These actions becomes easier, and then they become habits. I understood if I don’t follow this crucial step then the habit will not be stable, and I will have no rights to teach them these techniques.
  • Habits
Habits are defined as things that we repeatedly do. When I ask what are habits again to my class they invariably start giving me examples like brushing teeth, being clean etc.,
They are still not aware about mental habits, they think habits are only physical. They don’t understand that even thinking is also a habit.  
                                So here is a list of things good habits can help you with: ( these are taken from7 habits for highly effective teenagers)
  • Get control of your life
  • Improve your relationships with your fiends
  • Make smarter decisions
  • Get along with your parents
  • Overcome addiction
  • Define your values and what matters most to you
  • Get more done in less time
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Be happy
  • Find balance between school, work, friends and everything else
  • Define your values and what matters most to you.
It is clear how powerful habits are now. They can make you or break you.
Now I ask my kiddos if they want to learn the good habits or bad habits. When they answer good habits then the real work begins. First I start feeding them with good thoughts, and then I give them a plan to follow and eventually I strive hard along with them to make it a habit.
So you think education is hard… of course but it worth it.  

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D. Ronald Hadrian
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