It struck me today that in many ways, our thoughts resemble habits... and there is a deep insight in the commonly used [and commonly ignored] term 'thinking habits'. Just like we developing different habits like smoking, or biting nails, we develop habits of patterns of thinking. Just as these physical habits are determined by conditioned reflexes, type I [Pavlovian] and type II [reward and punishment], the thinking habits are also reinforced by social conditioning. Due to different factors, the patterns of thinking are cemented and it becomes really difficult to change them. It is sometimes said about some person 'He is pessimistic by nature'. But no person is pessimistic [or optimistic] by 'nature', it is the conditioning of his mind which has led to the habit of thinking pessimistically. And like any habit, thinking habits can be changed as well, but it requires patience and consistency, just like in changing physical habits.