Do your habits make you less happy?
Overeating, drinking, or smoking. Whatever your habit may be, you find that enjoy them for a brief period, but then are left feeling miserable after engaging in them because ultimately they aren’t good for you.
Getting Perspective on Yourself and your Habits
So, in that vein, with the idea of being a ‘better’ person, I’m experimenting with the following technique:
“Learn to control the turbulent passions and desires of the lower self by stepping outside yourself and examining your thoughts and acts from the point of view of an impartial and detached observer who regards your life from the standpoint of eternity.” Taken from the Occult Mysteries.
Why am I doing this?
One of the things we struggle with in life is that we do things that are bad for us, because we find pleasure in them.
Often these things have a lot of shame attached to them. We hate ourselves for doing them. And yet, we do them anyway, because we enjoy them. Some people may call these ‘habits’. The above quote shows they can also be called, less condescendingly perhaps, ‘passions’.
So I have tried experimenting with this device.
I lie in bed and close my eyes and imagine stepping outside of myself and looking down at myself from another’s perspective. It’s strange to see myself lying in bed.
Then I imagine myself doing the activity that brings me shame. I feel no shame as the impartial observer, I’m merely interested in what I’m doing.
Why is he doing that? He must enjoy it. And he looks like he’s enjoying it! He does it a lot. It looks almost boring to watch frankly.
What would it look like if he were doing something else? Something more…interesting. Something different.
I then watch myself doing other things I’ve enjoyed that are more ‘healthy’. I like seeing myself doing those things because I look happier. Not because I’m more productive, as I would have expected, but because I look HAPPIER.
I find that if I do this exercise repeatedly for many days in a row I feel better about myself, more confident in my abilities, and less likely to engage in habit-forming activities. Try it for yourself and see if it doesn’t help you.