Build Strong Habits
We highly recommend the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Everyone has big dreams, but they think that they have to do huge things to accomplish those dreams. They get so overwhelmed by their own aspirations that they get analysis paralysis and are sluggish to accomplish anything, much less the big things they had planned. They forget that everything great is accomplished through consistent daily effort. In other words, greatness is a habit.
Everyone has habits, whether they know it or not. It’s simply the way the brain works. But the real power of habit, as Duhigg says, “is that your habits are what you choose them to be.”
When you learn how your brain creates habits, you can figure out how to hack the brain and start replacing bad habits and building good ones.
Here’s a quick overview: every habit is centered around 3 things: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Maybe you’d like to create a better morning routine. A lot of people wake up, hit snooze a few times, pick up their phones and catch up on news, Instagram, etc., and then get ready for work. The reward is more sleep, a comfortable morning, a slow start to the day.
But a comfortable morning is not a productive morning. So, if you can recognize the cue, you can alter the behavior, and change the reward. Lazy mornings usually happen because people keep their phone next to their bed and use it as their alarm. When you wake up, your phone is already in your hand, so of course you’re going to start your day by checking everything on it.
But if you change the cue by putting your phone across the room, you have to get up to turn off the alarm. When you’re standing there, you’re much less likely to spend much time on your phone. With the cue changed, it’s easier to change the routine to something like reading or exercise. As a result you’ll be rewarded with a healthier body, a sharper mind, and an all-around better day. These rewards will cement the new behavior and over time you’ll have a much stronger daily performance that is grounded in strong habits.
When you know how the brain works, you can recognize the cues and rewards that you’ve been giving it and change them to eliminate unhealthy habits and build stronger ones. Over time, these habits will make you stronger, wealthier, and wiser.