Drive out bad nails..!
Of course, what the teacher was trying to say is that any behavior, often repeated, becomes a habit. I see this happening everyday, as my driver walks in day after day fifteen minutes late. I’ve tried everything from shouting at him, counseling him and all to no avail; he just turns up next day at the same time.
It was then I read this piece of wisdom and decided to try it out in which a Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus once said, “A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.”
And if I understand him right, he suggests that saying no to a bad habit is not enough. Instead, we should try to replace it with a good one. Repeat the new behavior twenty times … and it is yours. If any behavior, good or bad, is often repeated, it becomes stronger and more powerful. “Since habits become power, make them work for you and not against you,” said E. Stanley Jones.
“Do you really want to change that habit?” her friend asked. The woman said that she did and her friend responded, “All right. Every time you’re late for work or anywhere else, then give me $25.” “I’d go broke!” she said. “But I’ll do $10.” “It’s got to hurt,” said the friend. “Believe me, that will hurt,” the woman replied. They agreed that the money should be deposited in a jar and used for charity. In the first week, the habitually tardy woman made a concerted effort to plan ahead and she only paid $10 to her friend. The next week, $20. The third week, none at all. By week five, she had built a strong habit of leaving early, and her new behavior replaced the old pattern of tardiness that had hindered her for so long. She drove out one nail with another one. And she found freedom.
If you’re like me, there is a bad nail you want to remove. Today is a good day to pick up a better nail and start using it. And so tomorrow morning when my driver comes late I’m going to meet him with a smile on my face and a small jar in my hand, “Ten rupees!” I hope his late coming nail will be driven out by the penalty nail..!