“Getting Better” by Harsha Ravindran (2016)

Some things aren’t always solved instantly. Sometimes some problems take time to be resolved and need to be worked on for a long period of time. For instance, not all of your old habit patterns or your Subconscious Mind’s tricks can be managed or stopped in a day. For some of them, you need a longer period of time to get them completely out of your programming.

Personally this whole concept of ‘slow change’ didn’t really work with me when I first heard it. When my mentor, Elango Thiyagu (www.elangothiyagu.com) tried explaining it to me the first time, I didn’t quite get it. He told me how it takes about 3 to 6 months to change something within us completely because that was how long it takes for your body to get a new ‘coat of cells’ and given that those cells would be programmed in accordance to what my constant thoughts, words and actions were at the moment the cells was born. Basically, every single thought, word and action I did programs my being. Logically, if I could gradually change it over the course of 3 to 6 months, I would be able to change my programming gracefully.

But even though it made lots of sense to me in my Intellect, someone forgot to inform my physical body. And I started doing the exact opposite of this idea and started changing abruptly instead. This basically turns my programming ‘against’ me because I’m trying to do something completely against what I told my mind to program in the first place.

For example, I used to like obsessively reading novels and books, I would read day and night and kept this bookshelf in my room full of books. As my like for reading depleted after I learnt about how everything you read is programmed inside of you, I decided to reduce the amount I read, and give away the horde of books that lived in my book shelf. So despite the fact that I was aware that I slowly needed to stop reading and happily give away my books, I still made a sudden change and gave away more half of the books on my overstuffed bookshelf in less than a day. Luckily, I partially managed to use this asset of ‘Slow Change’ and gradually stopped reading and didn’t abruptly change that too.

But some damage had still been done as I freaked out a couple of days later, going ‘blur’ because of the quick change decision I made to give all those books away. When I told my mentor this whole story, he explained to me about how the books were actually part of my ‘environment’ given that I look at them almost every day, every time I was in the room, actually. So giving them away so quickly wasn’t the best of ideas. He continued telling me that I needed to change slowly.

My argument against Slow Change was simple, I would forget to do so later, I would be more satisfied if I saw the results immediately, and etc. But after a while,I came to terms and saw the importance of slow change. But there was one question about ‘Slow Change’ which bothered me a little, how would I know if I had changed or progressed if I change slowly?

To this, my mentor gave me a pretty good answer, look back at around a while ago, let’s say a month ago, and see if you have progressed or have gotten better since then. At first I couldn’t see my progress right away, but now I can. I have stopped reading and buying books as much, the books that I read now are actually in line with my goals, which is pretty fun and cool to read.

Another example of seeing your own progress from Slow Change would be at the end of a semester break where my sister and I would be doing the same thing. I would be rushing to finish all my homework the night before school starts, while she would be whining about how she didn’t want to go to school. These were our habit patterns.

In case you haven’t noticed, both of those things aren’t exactly good stuff; but since we’ve become aware of that, we’ve started changing slowly. We changed so slowly, that even I myself didn’t notice I was changing. But when I look back at my previous school holiday where I had almost finished most of my work during the holiday and only had a little to do during the night before, and my sister didn’t really whine much about how she didn’t want to go to school, I can see our habit patterns changing very subtly.

This tells me that it works. When I compare my previous school holiday to the holiday a year ago, I was able to see just how much I’ve changed in the past year. I can see myself being much more productive during the holidays too!  And it’s nice to see yourself change, even if it takes some time to see the results. As long as you can see yourself getting a little better every time, and progress from where you’ve initially started out, you’ll do just fine.

– Harsha

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