Have you been putting aside meditation or reading a Dhamma book because it was easier to binge-watch TV? We may even have held on to feelings of anger, frustration and jealousy because it feels more ‘righteous’ than forgiving and letting go. Our old habits and tendencies form the path of least resistance, but we must remember that this route blurs our minds and weaken our resolve. Instead, we should cultivate “Aditthana” – determination to persevere for a noble goal despite the difficulties.
To replace unwholesome habits, we need to be determined to go against our comfortable and familiar routines. We can fuel this determination by reflecting on the stark reality that none of us know how much time we have left as conditions are truly impermanent. We do not know what lies ahead, so we must not take our supporting conditions for granted.
To develop new habits fuelled by noble aspirations, we can develop Right Effort; to prevent the unwholesome from arising and extinguish those already arisen, and cultivate skillful qualities – especially generosity, loving-kindness, and wisdom – that have not arisen, and strengthen those which already exist. Coupled with mindfulness of our thoughts, speech and actions, we can then take consistent but firm steps to be more content, happy and peaceful.