Three Principles to Change Your Habits and Your Life
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
As Gandhi explained, our habits are crucial in the creation of our character. It is not always who we are that determines what we do – often, in fact, the opposite is true. In creating a habit, we train our mind to continually think a certain way. Our brain changes physically to adapt to our new truth.
So – how do we build habits that reflect our core values and direct us to our most treasured goals?
In exploring this question, it is wise to consider the principles of concentration, autosuggestion, and the master mind.
The Principle of Concentration
Most of us already understand the principle of concentration – but do we use it? This principle dictates that we must focus our effort, curiosity, and mental power on understanding and achieving our goals. With concentration, we can define our purpose and focus on it with our conscious mind. This helps us to overcome procrastination and become more confident and driven when pursuing our goals. In itself, concentration is a crucial and often forgotten step in becoming who we want to be. When used in conjunction with the two principles below, it is the key to unlocking our most powerful potential.
So – how do we do it?
There are several tricks that can increase your power of concentration. First, identify and clarify your goals. Examine them. Do they align with your values? Do they reflect your character? Will they help you to become a person you would like to be? Next, set aside time each day to evaluate your progress with honesty and self-love. What are you doing well? What could be improved? Finally, begin a regimen of meditation. Turn inward. Rest. Renew. Clarify. Become who you are.
The Principle of Autosuggestion
Autosuggestion is a way of using concentration to access and influence the subconscious mind. While concentration focuses the practical and academic layers of the brain, autosuggestion changes your thoughts at the more mysterious level of their creation. This process can, and should, be studied in depth from a psychological standpoint. However, for our purposes I will keep the explanation more simple.
For autosuggestion to work, you first need to identify the goal that has become the focus of your concentration. Then, you must frame it in a way that is internally driven, meaningful, believable, and closely tied to positive emotions. For example, “I will lose 20 lb. this month” is not a good goal for this process. First of all, it is not believable unless you are planning to give birth. Furthermore, the focus on pounds ties it, for many, to negative emotions. It also relies on external measures of success, rather than internal ones. A better goal might be “I will become healthier every day.” Repeat this each morning and concentrate and making it so. It won’t take long to see a positive change.
The Master Mind Principle
This master mind is defined as “the coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” In essence, it describes the power of working with others. When we choose to work as a team, we increase our collective knowledge, skills, experience, and creative power. Furthermore, we tend to subconsciously adopt the habits of the people we spend the most time with. Be conscious of who you choose to let into your life. They will inevitably become a part of your master mind network.
“We first make our habits, then our habits make us,”
wrote John Dryden.