Changing Bad Habits

The Wise Old Man

A wealthy man requested an old scholar to wean his son away from his bad habits. The scholar took the youth for a stroll through a garden. Stopping suddenly he asked the boy to pull out a tiny plant growing there.


The youth held the plant between his thumb and forefinger and pulled it out. The old man then asked him to pull out a slightly bigger plant. The youth pulled hard and the plant came out, roots and all. “Now pull out that one,” said the old man pointing to a bush. The boy had to use all his strength to pull it out.


“Now take this one out,” said the old man, indicating a guava tree. The youth grasped the trunk and tried to pull it out. But it would not budge. “It’s impossible,” said the boy, panting with the effort.


“So it is with bad habits,” said the sage. “When they are young it is easy to pull them out but when they take hold they cannot be uprooted.”


The session with the old man changed the boy’s life.


Moral: Don’t wait for Bad Habits to grow in you, drop them while you have control over it else they will get control you.



This proverb about bad habits can be applied to many areas of life. Human beings have a tendency to stick to a routine and changing or modifying that routine can be quite difficult. However, as we grow and learn we should improve our habits in order to be the best version of ourselves.


Bad habits can take on many forms within ourselves; whether its acting in an unsustainable manner, having unhealthy eating behaviours, and so on. Once you are set in your ways, it is difficult to break a habit, no matter if it is a good or a bad one. The best time to start improving is now, before your bad habits can root and grow stronger inside of you.


Here are some simple ways we can change our behaviour to be more mindful of ourselves and our planet:


1. Bring a reusable coffee cup to get your daily caffeine fix.

2. Cycle or walk to work.

3. Make a habit of meditating for at least 5 minutes each day.

4. Reduce your screen time.

5. Buy a reusable water bottle - track your hydration and save the earth.

6. Every time you are about to say something hurtful/negative about someone/something, think twice and try to shine a positive light on every situation.

7. Start making your lunch the night before and bring it to work/school.

8. Turn the lights off when you leave a room.

9. Slow down your consumption - don’t be so quick to buy new things, be content with what you have. (The most harmful thing we can do to the earth is buy a new product).

10. Reduce your consumption of animal products - do meatless Mondays or go vegan for a few days each week.

11. Donate your old things instead of throwing them away.

12. Try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you usually would.

13. Bring your own bag to the shop.



Do you have any good solutions to fixing bad habits? Share your ideas on instagram and tag us, we will share it with the Slice community.

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