Consider how difficult it is to overcome habits—how violently our nature rebels against any attempts to break routines we have settled down into.

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Why do we react in such a way? Is it because of the feeling of security the established patterns impart to our daily lives? Is it due to the apprehension of the new and the unknown that we would be forced to face if our routines were to change?

Even if we engage in these routines only once a day or once a week (for example, always having a nap after Sunday dinner), nevertheless, we still have to use all of our strength when we try to change these patterns of behaviour and overcome the fear that any such change automatically brings with it.

Now imagine if there existed an activity such that we engaged in it literally from the very moment of our births and continued to engage in it unceasingly every moment of our lives, the habit getting stronger and stronger with every passing second.

How inconceivably strong and vehement would our resistance be, and with what extreme panic and horror would our natures react if any attempt was made to break the habit of engaging in this particular activity?

Such an activity really does exist,

…but as its practice is so deeply ingrained in our nature and as we are so accustomed to its persistent and ceaseless presence, we do not even notice ourselves doing it. Because we have never been forced to experience the world without engaging in this activity, we have become blasé to its existence and consequently take it for granted.

We engage in it by default because we’ve been doing it all of our lives. We cling to it despite everything because we are afraid of finding out what things would be like without it. It is the oldest, strongest, most deep-seated and most tenacious habit a person possesses and therefore the hardest to break. 

If we were only to see that our fear of ceasing this activity is nothing more than the ordinary fear of breaking a habit, magnified many times over by this habit’s deep-rootedness in our nature, then we would comprehend that this fear has no rational basis.

We would then finally be in a position to overcome the fear that overshadows and stains every moment of our lives—the fear of death.

If one disagrees with the above contention that living is a habit, then the onus is upon them to examine their life and determine whether or not the overriding motivation for their existence is something other than the force of habit, if they live for a reason other than the inertia of custom and if their life is more than just a routine they have fallen into.  

Old Habits Die Hard

About the Author

BORIS GLIKMAN is a writer, poet and philosopher from Melbourne, Australia. He says: “Writing for me is a spiritual activity of the highest degree. Writing gives me the conduit to a world that is unreachable by any other means, a world that is populated by Eternal Truths, Ineffable Questions and Infinite Beauty. It is my hope that these stories of mine will allow the reader to also catch a glimpse of this universe.”

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