By Rajiv Tuli
Atomic Habits, the famous book on habits by James Clear, defines habits as behavior that is more or less repeated in an automatic way. First, we make habits, and then, habits make us. Habits are what we are. They are the code of life for an individual.
Hinduism as a way of life has evolved over the centuries in India. The ancient seers of Hinduism have observed the human mind pattern and evolved some of the most productive habits at an individual and societal level. We identify these habits with various names like sanskara, duty, dharma, etc.
Following are the core seven Indian habits of success as per Hinduism:
Getting up before Sunrise
The first and foremost habit which is suggested for success in Hinduism is: getting up before sunrise. Ideally, the wake-up time for those who want to achieve success in life is half an hour before sunrise. This time is the time of peace, silence, and tranquility in which one can meditate on the very purpose of their life and the day. Interestingly, the latest research in modern science is also coming to terms with the fact that getting up early has a direct bearing on one’s productivity and efficiency.
The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma, The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, The 5 AM Revolution by Dan Luca are some of the most famous books by the most effective self-help coaches of the world, which are emphasizing the habit of getting up early in the morning to be more proficient, productive and positive.
Purpose of Life
Famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow shook the world in 1954 with his book – Motivation, and Personality, in which he proposed five core needs that form the basis for human behavioral motivation.
Those needs are physiological needs, safety needs, love, and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Hinduism divides these habits into four parts viz, Dharma – righteousness, Artha – material needs, Kama – pleasure, and Moksha – salvation. Every action of human beings in their daily life is to be guided and dictated by these four touchstones.
At the base of this hierarchy is Dharma, which should dictate every action, and the ultimate aim of any action and life should be aimed at the self-actualization – Moksha of the individual, which is very close to the concept of self-actualization propounded by Maslow.
Meditation is one of the best ways to de-stress and de-clutter yourself. It is one of the best habits followed by success gurus like Jack Canfield, Anthony Robinson, and others. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is Hindus who gave the world the art of meditation, be it Pranayam – breath control or other forms of stillness and body postures. This simple yet highly effective habit of meditation can give your day a great start.
The Hindu code of life is to have simple and nourishing food so that we get the best out of our bodies. It suggests that you should not eat simple but a variety of food that has basic elements of nutrients. The ayurvedic diet says that each diet should have all six basic tastes so that it can make you healthy, efficient, and vibrant.
Eating a meal is equated with yagna where the metabolic fire burns the offering in the form of chewed food to bring health and vitality to the body. Food is equated with medicine and eating healthy is a prerequisite for success. So, eating food is assimilated as a habituated ritual in Hinduism.
Efficiency and exercise are two sides of the same coin. Successful people do one or the other kind of exercise daily. As per Hindu habits, one should do yoga which is a way of controlling the mind through the body – in fact, one should start your day with yoga. Yoga is the best habit-gift of Hinduism to the world.
Competing with Self
Unlike the western culture of survival of the fittest, Hindu culture speaks of non-competition and mutual co-existence. When we live in harmony with nature and other creatures, we perform better as we are less stressed and more open to others. The only competition is being better than your previous version and Siddhi is being your best version.
One of the best habits of success is inculcating the habit of being focused. Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this as a flow state which is a complete immersion in an activity.
In Hinduism, Karma is an action when you absorb yourself in the chosen flow of work or thought. You are at your best version when you are immersed in your work. It forms the habit of Yoga Karma Su Koshlam, Karmar Su Koshlam, Yoga – Perfection in action and action in perfection – wherein an individual is absorbed in the action-state forgetting and giving up a reward for the action. This state is when your body, mind, intellect, and soul are at the same level and focused on the work at hand. As per the flow theory, you can achieve efficiency up to 600 percent if you are in the flow state of mind.