Taking responsibilty of your habits
Everything that happens to him on the day of the Groundhog Event, right from a man who tries to converse with him to meeting of an old high school acquaintance recognizing him on the street, a small child falling off a tree to the ritual of Groundhog Day repeats itself with unfailing accuracy. Phil (Bill Murray) is initially confused, and then despairs. He even indulges in several attempts of suicide, only to wake up the next day again, whole and alive!!
But as the days pass endlessly into the same day, he gradually begins to reexamine his life and priorities. A new day finally dawns only when he has learned to view every event in his ‘ever repeating day' with love and responds to those events with kindness. The movie is a powerful reminder about the choices we have in our (very similar) life. Day after day, we wake up to find ourselves stuck with the same relationships, same situations and the same environment. What really are the choices we have in our life? What is it that would help us experience a breakthrough in our seemingly monotonous lives?
Everyday life presents us with a choice - the choice of response. As you wake up in the morning, you have a choice – the choice to live a habit or the chance to begin your day with awareness. When you walk into a meeting, you could walk into it with your habitual feeling, attitudes and behaviour or could choose to walk in with greater awareness of your own self. As you begin to pay attention to your thought processes, you will find that very often we are caught in a loop of habit driven thinking and responding.
Our feelings are old. Our perceptions are old. They are habit driven. Observe yourself and you would see, every time there is a challenging project, a dead line to be kept up, an office meeting to go to or a party to attend; you go through very similar thought processes. Every time you are questioned, every time you perceive rejection there is the same feeling you go through. It is these repetitive feelings and thoughts that make us feel life is monotonous.
When we do not pay attention to our own inner thoughts, we unconsciously get caught in a life of habit. Since our responses and behaviour are driven by our perceptions, we also tend to respond mechanically, almost predictably. Mechanical, habitual responses to life, day after day, go on to creating an inferior destiny. Destiny is not created in one special moment; it is our response to everyday life. A life of habit is a mediocre life.
As you become conscious of the choice you have, the choice to be aware, and begin to exercise this choice, you would become conscious of this loop. With that will begin the first step towards experiencing ‘a new day'. You would then stop feeling victimised, since you would see it is your repetitive thoughts that make you feel so. The very feeling of being a victim itself is a habit! You would move from a place of blame and judgment to one of responsibility. You would begin to take responsibility for your happiness, for the way you feel.
As you begin to take responsibility for your feelings, you would become more conscious of your actions. You would act from a place of awareness. As you act more consciously, you would be moving away from habit. As you move away from habit, you would be creating a new beginning. A greater destiny.
Prahasitha:The author is Faculty, One World Academy