Our mind - Restructured with habits

What comes first? Do our actions follow our mindset or is the mindset shaped by our actions?

Dr. Chodisetti

7/15/20223 min read

Until recently, I used to believe that “our deeds follow our mind.” Which means, the things that we do are usually according to the thoughts that we hold or according to the personality that we develop. Which is of course true for some extent however, to get shaped up into a great personality, books, teachings, courses, counselling centers, are not enough though such resources are abundantly available in our societies. From childhood onwards, we are used to encounter constant preaching and teachings by the teachers at schools, by parents, elders of the societies, personality development centers, counselling, and plenty of books.

The question is, do all of the above mentioned resources help to bring a complete change in a person? When I say complete change, let me tell you that change has two dimensions. Internal and external. One can think internally in a fantastic way but may not be able to express that externally in the form of deeds. You may develop a good-thinking internal personality but externally still do wrong things. That means, the change is only half complete.

In my opinion, all these teachings and books etc. will change only the way we think. That too, this change is stable only until a certain time period after which, the mind goes back to the previous original thinking style. These resources can not unfortunately bring the second half of the change that I mentioned above. That is the expression or implementation of that change in terms of deeds.

When I encountered a quote from ancient Indian literature “Budhi Karmaanusaarini,” it made me to think. This means, our mind follows our karmas. When I started to analyze the meaning, I reversed the concept that I established before and now I say that our mind follows our deeds. In other words, the way our mind thinks (or works) is shaped up by the practicing-habits that we adopt during our lifetime. People can achieve complete change in their personalities by the kind of things they constantly do. The greater number of right habits one adopts, and the more frequently those are repeated, the faster one´s mind is shaped up and turns that person into a great personality. Thus, constant teachings or books can bring internal change and practice of doing good things fulfills the second half of the change.

This statement also gives us the possibility to admit that our brain is more plastic than we think. It is not true that people can never change. The only thing is, they do not know the secret. Change is possible at any stage of the lifetime and not necessarily only from the childhood. The right or wrong things one constantly does, will bring a cumulative and reversible change in the brain of a person.

Parents who can manage to make their children to adopt good habits and do not have time to teach them or make them read a good book also can bring in only half change. Because then they fail to make their children understand the logic behind practicing a good habit. The moment an external force or influence to keep up a habit disappears, the practice of that good habit fades away. Change has all or none principle. At any age of life, to bring a complete change, they must provide these two tools. 1. Teachings 2. Practicing great habits. Having said that, we can extrapolate this principle to an extent such as when organizations suggest any personality development course to their employees, they must ensure that the course takers will receive these two tools to bring a sustainable change which gives remarkable results.

The logic behind the statement "Budhi Karmaanusaarini" can better be understood with the concept of "An exceptional interest about oneself". If some thought or idea comes out of a mind, it owns it. It is now biased while processing that thought. This biased processing brings a great feeling and always appears as right. The mind owns it and gives priority to it and as a result of that, it feels difficult to digest critics on these processed thoughts or ideas. Everything arises out of this self-interest. “My thought is great, because it came out of my mind”. It extends externally and is expressed in diverse ways such as, that is my kid, that is my family, that is my race etc. Whenever there is a compulsion that one must listen to the words of others, since those are not arisen out of one´s own mind, for them it becomes difficult to adopt. Instead of preaching, if you strategically incorporate them in the form of habits (by including a practice in the curriculum), during the course, the person owns it and feels that, that is arisen out of her/himself.