I know I’m growing as a person. It’s easy to see. All I need to do is think about all the bad habits I used to have. Sleeping in, leaning on junk food, playing videogames more than sleeping, reacting to anger with anger, spending money I don’t have…
I may have a long way to go, but I’ve sure come far already.
Habits, like anything else, have logic to them. They follow rules, have anatomy, and will thrive or wither under different conditions.
Whether it’s reaching for your morning coffee or turning to booze when stressed, all habits follow the same pattern.
If you know the pattern, you can create new habits.
Or break old ones.
Well, you can still change your habits. All that takes is to dig deep and burn through your reserves of willpower.
I used to do this. As a strapping young buck, I had time and energy to spare. I could break some habits, like sleeping in til 11am, by forcing myself to wake up.
It didn’t always work, even then.
I’m too active to muck about with things the hard way.
Charles Duhigg wrote about habits. He identified every one, no matter how big or small, had three elements:
1) Trigger – what sets the habit in motion,
2) Behaviour – the actions, what most people would call the habit,
3) Reward – the emotional release or satisfaction the habit creates.
This turns into a ritual – summon satisfaction by following the ancient spell of Behaviour.
Or maybe it’s more like punching a code into a vending machine.
Duhigg said you can change any habit by keeping the Trigger and Reward, and changing the Behaviour. If you want to learn how to do that, there’s your homework. Look into it and see how to do that.
The great thing about his system is you can change habits using very little willpower. It’s a bit of effort at the start, but once you’re set, the habit runs itself.
Most people would kill for a system that quickly and somewhat easily changes habits.
(I know I would have.)
But surely we can do better…
What if there was a system that let you change habits instantly? What if it took zero willpower – you create the change and it sticks?
A system like that – what would it be worth for you?
Much, much more than I’m charging for it, no doubt.
Knowing how to dissect habits helps. That’s still a conscious-mind process for something that happens unconsciously. That’s why I teach self-hypnosis – it targets habits on the level they live.
Anything else is just a clumsy attempt to change your mind.
For mental finesse like a surgeon of your mind, keep reading:
Photo by Manan Chhabra on Unsplash