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THINK GOOD, SEE GOOD, DO GOOD & EXPECT GOOD
« on: December 11, 2004, 07:10:34 PM »
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  • THINK GOOD, SEE GOOD, DO GOOD & EXPECT GOOD


    "Whether the object is fit to be enjoyed or not will at once arise. Then the object that is not fit to be enjoyed will be shunned and in this way our vicious habits or vices will disappear and our character will improve." –Sri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. XXIV.


    The farmer’s heart must have just stopped when he went to his barn one weekend morning and discovered that a 1,100 pound pregnant wild carabao had decided to take residence there. Plenty of water and hay under a covered roof – what more could she ask? So when the farmer tried to get into the barn to feed his horses, Mean Mildred, as he named her, charged at him and drove him off. He returned with a riffle and fired a couple rounds in the air, but "she turned right around and came right at me," he said. He dived into the safety of some nearby bushes.


    By Monday morning the farmer had to escort his kids to their school bus with a rifle in his hand. So he called the forestry agency, who sent a ranger to see what he could do to get Mean Mildred out of the barn – after all, all horses were getting hungry. The ranger tried a gun that shoots whistling firecrackers. Mildred wasn’t impressed. "I chased her around for a while," the ranger said laughing, "and then she chased me around for a while. She was pretty aggressive."


    Tuesday morning the ranger decided to take more drastic measures. He returned with a tranquilizing gun, but the carabao shook off the darts non chantingly. Then as the two men discussed further tactics, Mean Mildred leaped up, bolted over the fence, and ran away.


    Sometimes a bad habit takes over our lives the way Mean Mildred adopted the farmer’s barn. And whatever we try to do to remove it, nothing seems to work. It just hangs on tenaciously, and we feel powerless to overcome it.


    Actually, a habit should come as no surprise to us. It is, after all, a pattern of behaviour that we ourselves have programmed into the computers we call our brains. Explaining how you form a habit in your brain can get overly involved in a lot of scientific words like "dendrites" and "axons" and "cytoplasm." Basically, however, your brain processes messages and sends them on to different parts of the body through nerve cells. Any repeated thought or action helps to build up an electromechanical pathway through the nerve cells – the more repetitions, the stronger the pathway. And researchers have found that this kind of pathway can probably never be erased.


    So does this mean that you can’t do anything about a bad habit? Are you doomed for the rest of your life to biting your fingernails or cracking your knuckles or overeating? Not at all. Here are some suggestions:


    ASK GOD’S HELP:


    You cannot expect to make any permanent change in your life without God’s help. "A[art from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Everything else you can do to break a bad habit must be based on a realization that your ability to do so comes from God. "I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13).


    CHOOSE A GOOD TIME TO CHANGE:


    There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecc 3:1). The holidays are probably not the best time to begin a campaign against overeating. You need to make the breaking of a bad habit as easy for yourself as you possibly can. Whatever advantage you can turn to your own favour is just good planning.


    FOCUS ON ONE HABIT AT A TIME:


    Don’t try to overcome several at once. And almost any goal you may set for yourself is easier to accomplish by breaking it up into smaller goals. These smaller goals make the whole programme look much more manageable and much less intimidating. As Mark Twain said, "Habit is a habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."


    ANALYZE YOUR HABIT:


    Make a list of the times and places that you most often exhibit the behaviour you wanted to change. If you’re trying to do something about snacking between meals, you may find that you often gravitate subconsciously towards the kitchen – or a snack machine at school or at work – at certain times of the day. Then you can consciously arrange to be somewhere else during those times. One of the biblical principles of overcoming temptation is to avoid it if possible. Eve had no business being anywhere near the tree of knowledge of good and evil.


    REPLACE THE BAD HABIT WITH A GOOD ONE:


    Don’t forget that there are good habits as well – as bad ones. Theologian Nathaniel Emmons said, "Habit is either the best of servants, or the worst of master." You use good habits to complete many of your routine tasks throughout the day. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to think your way through the process of tying your shoes every morning, or brushing your teeth, or making your bed? And you can develop good habits to help handle much more important tasks.


    Although your bad habits have formed a permanent pathway in your brain, you can programme your brain to form a bigger permanent pathway through the constant repetition of a good behaviour. Schedule a programme of exercise at the time when you find you are most likely to watch too much television. Make a conscious effort to replace gossip with praise of people you know. Jesus illustrated this principle in Mathew 12:43-45: "When an evil spirit comes out of man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. The it says, "I will return to the house I left. When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicket than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worst than the first."


    THINK OF YOUR HABIT-CHANGING CAMPAIGN IN POSITIVE TERMS:


    Focusing on all the things are having to give up only casts a negative light on anything you try to do. If you are trying to lose weight, picture yourself looking better in a swimsuit rather than dwelling on all the chocolate cake you’re going to miss.


    DON’T GIVE UP IT YOU FAIL:


    Remember, those electro-mechanical pathways in your brain make it very easy to your old habits. As Peter Miller, co-author of Self watching, says, "Quitting a habit is easy. Starting again is even easier." If you give in to go back to your old habit, don’t be tough on yourself. Consider it a learning experience and build on it.


    Research has shown that the more times a person has tried to give up smoking, the greater are his or her chances of success. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged.


    If God can forgive you, you surely ought to be able to forgive yourself. God has promised that whatever Mean Mildreds you may have in your life. He will help you root them out. "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Mathew 21:22).


    Why not ask Him today to help you rid yourself of your harmful habits?


    (Written by: Gary B. Swanson in Mira)










    om sai sri sai jaya jaya sai
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.
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