Three things help you to break bad habits and cultivate good habits. Do you know what they are? Love, fear and greed.
If someone tells you, if you do your meditation, your exercise for one whole month, you will get so much luck that you will get a million dollars; you will not miss even a day. I will get that much luck to get one million dollars; why do sadhana for one month, I will do it for two months. You will say this.
Greed will help you to continue a practice or break off a bad habit. Someone tells you, if you stop smoking for forty days then you will get a lottery of one million euros. You will not miss even one day of those forty days, you will do it for even sixty days, isn’t it. Greed can help to motivate you.
In the ancient days they knew this. That is why they did different techniques and poojas and all that and in the end of all that you get the fruit of it. What will happen if you do it? Phalashruti, the fruit of it.
They would say, if you do this then you will get this and this; you children will be happy, you will become prosperous, your health will become better and if you are not married you will find a good husband or wife. They used to give all these temptations so that you do the practice which is good for you.
Now the second this is fear. This is of course used in many countries. If you don’t do this you will go to hell and you are really scared. If you don’t stop drinking alcohol, you liver is going to collapse, you are going to die. Or if you don’t stop smoking you are going to get some big disease. When doctor says this then you will not do that. The doctor has said alcohol is very bad for my health, I should not do it.
In many religions people say, you should not do anything else or you will go to hell. If you do yoga you will go to hell and you think, oh my God then I don’t want to do yoga. Fear stops people from doing good and doing bad.
And third is love. Someone who you love a lot, or someone who loves you a lot and you also love them, if they tell you, look you should come with me to do a silence program, a course, you will not say no. You will say, "Okay".
If someone who loves you very much tells you, ‘Do meditation with me’ or if they tell you, ‘You should not smoke’, then for their sake you will stop.
So love, fear and greed can stop you from bad habits and make you do some good things. I would prefer love rather than fear and greed, yes!
The religions in the east used greed, the religion in the west have used fear to promote. In the east they have used greed, the common man is told you will get liberation if take a dip in the Ganga and all that. And in the west, fire or hell and all that fear. In the west they have been promoting this faith and believe system. I would prefer only love, not fear, not greed. But if it works sometime you do it, doesn’t matter.