Essays Archives

Incredible! Believe it or not. A poker game ran for 5 months!

The London Sunday Times newspaper, dated 5 June 1983, reported this game played in Las Vegas in 1949, between a Mr. Moss and a Greek. The game dragged through 5 tense months, with breaks for rest every four to five days. Finally the Greek lost a staggering sum of two million dollars. Despite his drastic loss he came back to gamble the very next day. The poor man could not help it. He was a compulsive gambler. The habit of gambling had become his life.

Bad habits can range from stuttering, squinting and nervous twitches to dangerous driving, smoking and drug abuse. They can banish us socially, overburden us with guilt and, in the more serious cases, harm us physically and even cost us our lives.

Nature has already supplied man with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest or water. Inspite of these endowments, why does man fail to attain his goals? The answer is simple All men's natures are alike. It is their habits that carry them far apart. Therefore, in truth the only dividing line between those who fail and succeed lies in the difference of their habits. So, the first law to success which precedes all others is to form good habits and become their slaves. But can this difficult feat be accomplished? Yes!

Positive Thoughts
Make it a point to indulge only in positive thoughts, and you will gradually, step by step build your entire future on positive habits. You must substitute a positive thought for every negative thought you hold in your mind. Inspect these thoughts you have built in your consciousness, and if they reflect fear, worry, hate and failure; replace them with carefully chosen opposite thoughts of a positive nature. If you feel poor, you must think of wealth to come. If you feel incompetent you must remember past successes.

A positive thought is to appreciate and like everything around you. We must like the sun for it warms our homes, yet we must like the rain also for it quenches our thirst. We must like the light for it shows us the way, yet we must like the darkness also for its shows us the stars. We must welcome happiness because it enlarges our hearts, yet we must endure sadness for it opens our souls. We must acknowledge rewards for they are our due, yet we must welcome obstacles for they are our challenge.

The technique to master such positive principles and make them part of you is to keep them constantly in mind and practise them religiously until they are transformed into good habits.

Good habits work for us, even when we're not at our best. Unlike conscious actions, they don't depend on how we feel or how busy we are. Habits are always more reliable than memory.

During an entire period of 20 years at his post, a lighthouse keeper had been accustomed to a gun going off and making a loud bang every hour, day and night. This was the procedure used for warning ships.

One night, due to minor fault the gun failed to trigger off and make a bang. The old keeper had been fast asleep and when the gun failed to go off, he jumped in bed, "What was that?" he roared with alarm.

Another essential factor is: Never allow an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted deeply in your life. Each lapse is like letting a carefully winded up ball of string to the ground. A single slip undoes more than a great many turns wound up again. So one must learn to proceed firmly before one can afford any exceptions. Exceptions slender the habit.

To seize the first possible opportunity to act and execute every resolution is best. Sometimes one may think it is like the insurance a man pays on his house. The premium he pays does him no good at the time and may never bring a return. But if there is a fire, his having paid the money will be his salvation. Therefore one who has daily insured himself to a habit of focussed attention, energetic willingness and self-denial is one who will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him.

By constantly repeating an act at every possible opportunity, we reinforce and invigorate the habit.

A young man was very eager to learn Sanskrit. But due to poor memory he could not force himself to learn the strange new words. He went to his guru who gave him a gourd full of sesame seeds. He was told to say a word and take one seed out of the gourd. He was to continue in this manner until the gourd was empty before he started on a new word.

The young man came home and did as prescribed. It was a tedious procedure but he persisted. A few years later, he became a renowned scholar. Repetition made him into a scholar.

The key of every door to success is good habits. It remains for us to inquire, not tomorrow, nor today but right now about the type of habits we have. Discard all bad elements.


© 1999-2024 Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha), Swaminarayan Aksharpith | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Feedback |   RSS