Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Mantra: When You Want Something...

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it."  - Paulo Coelho (This is both good and bad)
With all the bad habits that I've learned
How many times have you looked at someone and wondered what their secret was- to getting in shape (and staying in shape), career success, life success? Success of any kind?

What if I told you there was finally an answer? A clear, concise, easy to understand method that outlines exactly why some people are able to achieve things while others can't. A method that anyone can employ to reach their own goals.

Well, there is.

In what I can only describe as a life changing, fascinating, seriously-you-need-to-read-it book - The Power of Habit -researchers, scientists, and experts in the field help you understand how habits are so much more than just habits.

Every day, almost every single thing you do within that day is a habit. You may think you're making new choices, but you're not. The way you get dressed, how you brush your teeth, how you drive your car, whether or not you walk past the donuts in the office without grabbing one, and if you make it to the gym or not - all of these are habits. Habits are something the brain has created because it can't continually process new data without overloading. Therefore, it creates and stores habits so you can carry out thousands of actions without having to stop and think about them, which allows your brain to save energy for any new information it has to process.

Fascinating, yes? Hold on to your hats, because it gets better.

The reason you can't lose weight, always date the same wrong people for you, and stay continually in debt is all thanks to deeply rooted habits you've been accumulating all these years. The same can be said for anyone who pays their bills on time, works out five days a week, and keeps their house in a perfect state of cleanliness. If you want to change your bad habits into good ones, you have to understand how they work. Habits have 4 specifics areas:

- The trigger (what makes you do what you do)
- The routine (the things you do)
- The reward (the drive behind the action)
- The craving (the underlying thing you want)

By targeting the trigger, developing a new routine that you also crave, and by keeping the reward, you can build new habits. I don't want to sugarcoat this. Habit changing requires work, dedication through repeated actions to form the new habit, and patience. However, the knowledge this books gives you will support you through the process. Plus, now you know the "secret" of how people achieve what they achieve. That alone is HUGE and should help you feel that much more empowered to take control of your life.

It's important to note that you can't actually get rid of habits- they're ingrained in your brain. What you can do, what you already have done countless times without realizing it, is establish new habits that override the old ones. This can be both good and bad. You can just as easily overwrite a good habit as you can a bad one. Did you used to have a dedicated workout schedule that "somehow" turned into a dedicated TV watching schedule instead? This is why awareness of your habits and the thing that triggers them is crucial to your success. This is also what I mean about how wanting something can be both good and bad.

I recently saw a documentary on The (Dis)Honesty Project. In it, you learn about the incredibly fascinating research of lying: why we lie, what causes us to become more ethical or less, and how constant and frequent reminders of ethics and morals are important. I won't delve too deep into this, but research shows that once you start with one lie, it gets easier and easier to continue lying. This is what fascinates me in particular when you put it into context with habits.

Your first lie had a trigger, which led to what you said, which led to a reward (you got away with it), which established a craving. That's how easy it is to slip into terrible habits, terrible ways. That's how easy it is. Period.

Arm yourself with information. Raise your awareness. Give yourself the gift of change where it is needed most in your life. Avoid the pitfalls of negative actions that lead to negative habits. You can build a better you. We all can. We just never knew where to start or how to effectively create change.

Now we do.

No more excuses.


I highly, highly, HIGHLY suggest you read this book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I then highly, highly, HIGHLY suggest you learn as much as you possible can about The (Dis)Honesty Project. Start by watching the documentary and then spend a considerable amount of time on their site.

No comments: