Does this happen to you?
You want to create time in your life to do certain things. So you painfully setup your habits. You start learning to get up early in the morning. To sequence your exercise and meditation and writing and singing and wood-working and cooking in a particular order which works for you. You set up your schedule so that on most days you ‘hit’ most of the ‘targets’ you set for yourself.
These ‘targets’ or ‘goals’ are supposed to be good for you, are supposed to improve your life and improve your mind. They are supposed to help provide peace and comfort and a sense of well-being. And they do. Mostly.
And then the vacation you longed for, you planned for happens. Or you have unexpected friends visiting you. Or you fall really, really sick. Life happens.
And then you find that deep inside, somewhere you are resenting that vacation you have planned – resenting yourself because you are sick – thinking “Why should this happen now? I was working on learning these very hard habits and I almost had them. Now I can’t do these and it will set me back by so many days/months. Ugh.” And then you feel totally disgusted at yourself for feeling this way, for this resentment. Has this happened to you?
Well, what has happened is that you have become a slave to the idea of the schedule. Not to the schedule itself. But the idea. The idea that doing all these ‘things’, these habits which are supposed to improve your life, – these are the only things that make your life a happy one. And the insidious fear that if these habits fall off, somehow you are a worse person, that your life becomes meaningless, that taking a break is a sacrilege. That taking a break means your habits will be undone completely.
When this happens, it is time to take a step back and think. Why did I want to do these things anyway? To make my life better. If so, then why can we not welcome this break, as a way to test my new-formed habits, as a way to actually live life than live in this mental bubble of my ideal life? After all, being a slave to your habits – is this a good thing?