Habit #1

I read a blog post, a poem by a friend sometime back. I read it once, I re-read it and left a comment like I always do [ sharing my thoughts on the poem]

I do the same on Instagram, or Facebook, or a piece of music on Youtube, a podcast anything else that is shared by someone online. I have this habit, you see.

I cannot just read and walk away.
I cannot just click on like and be done
I cannot just just read/see/watch and shut the window

I have to leave a comment.  Sometimes It might be a
“Good one, thanks for picking up this topic” [on a podcast that I could relate to]
“Woah, I did not see that coming [if the post surprised me in some way]
“Oh my, that looks delicious, am definitely going to try this” [ if the dish appealed to me & if I was genuinely going to try it out. In fact, I almost always go back to the post and update on how the dish turned out/reaction of those who had it]

This is a habit that has been with me forever. When I ponder over it, the only thought that comes to my mind, or reasoning for this habit is that – “I would love it if someone were to leave a comment/feedback on something I had shared, so they must also feel the same way, therefore I shall leave a comment”.

Another angle to this is “it is a great way to initiate a conversation when done on Instagram or other social media channels; when on the blog, it is a good way to direct the owner of that blog towards your blog to read your posts and thereby build a small community”

Habit #2
Another habit of mine is to say Thank you, Please, Sorry, Excuse me at every possible instance. I don’t hesitate and don’t segment people. From family to random strangers, to cab drivers, service folks I always make it a point to thank them/apologies/etc – whatever the situation warrants…

I have had people smirk, pull me away with a. “what’s wrong with you, they are just doing their job”. But hey, they are doing a good one at that and so deserve a kind word.

Similarly, when entering a mall/ airport, I always greet the security staff, enquire how their day is going. The ladies who do the security check always beam and smile when I kick off a conversation. They are doing their job, they are just checking us out to make sure we aren’t carrying anything harmful or up to no good, but hey they are humans too right?

This brings to mind the moment when am moving towards the counter for my US Visa interview. The guy ahead of me got slammed and was sent away with a stiff “rejected, come back with more supporting documents and story” comment. The guy behind the screen smiled at me, I greeted him, and he went on with the interview, asked me a bunch of questions. Just when I thought he was done, he spoke into the mic “so, which part of Chennai are you from?”  I replied “Kilpauk… smiled and asked him if he had been around the city much?” He gave a hearty laugh and said I was just randomly throwing one out at you… Go on, have a fun holiday and enjoy the wedding~ 🙂

I had written a post similar to this earlier, and today when I wrote this, I realized half the way is just scrolling through posts on their phone, pressing the heart symbol, or like button randomly as they go along. How often do they pause to read, how often do they reflect on what they have read? I know it is not everyone who does this, but the majority seems to…

How do I know this – a few days back in a group, there was a discussion and I had shared the link to a post I had done on Instagram on the topic. One of the girls had in fact liked the post, but guess what, she hadn’t even read the caption, or noticed the details… Ha…

For those who love to read, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Alternatively you can also watch this video