A friend shared this realization:
“I had vowed to give up eating sweets and deep fried items as my triglyceride count crossed the safe zone. The first day was easy. The second day, the mind yelled and screamed to take a bite of the Jaffa cakes that lay in the office pantry. I resisted again. A friend’s birthday party that evening had all my favourites – Samosas, Rabari, and Jalebis. I struggled but passed the test. The third day a rich variety of Swiss chocolates and doughnuts passed around in office. I was tired of the fight with my mind but still won the day.
“The next morning, at the breakfast table, as I readied to leave for office, an overwhelming urge took over my mind, and I grabbed a big bowl of sugar and devoured it. Later in the day, I reasoned that since I had anyways broken my vow, I could indulge more. Then I ate anything that came to my sight. In a few hours I compensated for the three days of resistance. I was exasperated; I knew I couldn’t continue like this.
“A friend suggested I continue to live with the vow but add a ‘cheat meal’ once a week. A cheat meal is when I please my mind with whatever it desires. Next time something alluring appeared on my table, I reasoned that there’s a time and place for it. I am not giving up sweets for ever; but now, the moment to enjoy could wait. I felt relieved at this approach to deal with my restless mind.”
Therefore one needs to be slow and realistic in this war against our lower nature. Slowly, we take baby steps. A chain smoker could lower his daily cigarette intake by five roll-ups, while a night owl, planning to rise before sunrise, could begin by waking up half an hour earlier than his usual time.
The best way to say ‘No’ to the mind’s deadly pulling is by connecting to a burning ‘Yes’. A ‘Yes’ for something positive helps us tackle the ‘No’s.’
A purpose and vision in life gives us a reason to live. And the mind’s pulling us all around can then be dealt with indifference and patience.