By Janelle Reserva
Most of what we do and the success that comes with them are often based on habits. Good habits are routines that lead us to greater things, so it must be deliberate. It also takes commitment to form healthy habits because bad habits naturally resurface. January is always the best time to develop a good habit. Based on Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work on self-image, many people believe that it only takes 21 days to form a habit, but for others, 21 days could mean a lifetime especially when inspiration fades and reality sets in. More than just losing weight or a skill every day, the next three various points are also habits that we must have.
GRATEFULNESS. Only the attitude of being thankful would overcome worry, insecurity, and discontentment for what has happened in 2013 and what might happen this year and the years to come. Gratitude does not mask our sorrows but will allow us to accept the delays, the inconvenience, and the various blockages that are sure to come. Gratefulness is about seeing the value of all things. Gratefulness teaches us to care and to treasure even those we don’t really like. A simple “thanks” would always affect people either in a small or big way, or for a lifetime. There is no satisfaction unless people are allowed to express gratitude to another.
GENEROSITY. There’s always someone who needs our help and the smartest way to help people is to live generously daily. While we pride ourselves on our generosity following major disasters, we are selfish with what we have and relatively indifferent to the material needs of the less fortunate and are physically closer to us. Generosity is not dependent on the receiver but a mirror of the giver. Alexander the Great didn’t give the poor man copper coins; instead he gave him all his golden coins coins because it suits him as royalty. We might not have golden coins, but we can still give our time and skill. We might not be as rich as Alexander, but we can be rich in volunteerism in various organizations that will help shape society. Also, generosity teaches us that as we give it all away, we will get more. Farmers give away seeds to the soil to get more seeds. We give away books, to produce scholars.We give away all our time, to fight and cultivate our relationships. We harvest more when we sow more. Lastly, generosity breeds responsibility. When someone decides to give, someone decides to be responsible, whether or not he or she is ready. Then solutions start forming, and even more powerful is when groups of people decide to be responsible together, combining their strengths and covering each other’s deficiencies, allowing them to accomplish various herculean tasks.
PATRIOTISM. This point is an oddball of the three, but it is as important. I have listed patriotism or simply the love for one’s culture and people in habits because we’ve cared so less about them that some of us forget who we really are. Surrounded by foreigners every day have made me realize that they have always viewed Filipinos as too western or having too much appreciation of other Asian cultures. It is not wrong, but it is a very sad fact. Whenever the Lupang Hinirang is played, there’s always a comment from someone somewhere saying: “Kailangan jud motindog?” I hope you know that people lost not just their legs but their lives, livelihoods, and entire clans just so we can experience the freedom of singing that anthem today. We’ve always told ourselves, through our shirts and statuses, how much we are proud to be Filipinos, yet we don’t value the things that make us one. A person who doesn’t love one’s country doesn’t understand its people, its land, etc. Hence, there is no understanding in the right to suffrage or the right understanding of freedom and of righteousness.Having no love for one’s country and people reflects no love for one’s self.
There are many habits that I would ant to write about, but these three are the same old familiar strokes that we don’t really understand. Let’s be totally honest. Think about it if we allow ourselves to feel what life will be like if the changes are not made.
Think about it and think about it real hard.
These habits can influence and impact not just our lives, but of others’ as well. Having these habits does not slow us down and hold us back. And these are priceless, something worth having.