CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE

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What you are going to learn:
  1. Why Habits are so Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
  2. The Three Elements of a Habit
  3. How a Better Understanding of Habits can Help Us Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
  4. A Simple Approach to Overcoming our Natural Resistance to Change
  5. Why We Often Blame our Lack of Willpower when it is usually our Lack of Commitment that is to Blame    

People often say that change is difficult, and they are correct. Change is difficult, but we are all capable of change. Our lives are continually changing, learning to drive, marriage, having children, new job responsibilities, and new technological tools. Initiation is the most challenging phase of any change because when we are learning to perform new tasks, it is mentally exhausting. Learning to perform a new activity requires our cerebral cortex (“Conscious Brain”) to do the heavy lifting.

As the new task becomes routine, the more resilient basal ganglia, (“subconscious brain’), takes over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. Our conscious brain essentially goes on autopilot, and the actions flow almost effortlessly. You undoubtedly experienced this when you were learning to drive. In the beginning, it required all of your mental focus, but now you can drive, adjust the cabin temperature, tune the radio, carry on a conversation, and heaven forbid, use your smartphone while driving.

Change is possible, but it starts with awareness. The hardest part of creating a change in behavior is just not repeating the behaviors of the past. Approximately 40 to 45% of the decisions we make are out of habit.[i] Unfortunately, these aren’t conscious decisions. These are decisions our conscious brain has delegated to the subconscious brain. Our subconscious mind controls the performance of repetitive daily activities which frees our conscious mind from making countless decisions each day, which would lead to decision fatigue and mental exhaustion. For this reason, we aren’t mindful of actions we have repeated enough times to make them habits.
Continue reading “CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE”

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The Habit: Week-15 (Actively Seek Associations that Will Inspire You)

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you’ll drift in that direction.” Warren Buffett

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This week’s challenge is to seek out people that will inspire and influence you in a positive manner. Whatever your goal is, seek out individuals that have achieved it, or are at least further along than you. Seek out associations with groups and individuals you respect and admire.

Warren Buffett says, “The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.” Bill Graham, was Warren’s hero when he began his career in investment. Bill told Warren when he was a young man he looked around at the people he admired. After studying their character and habits, he concluded that they weren’t doing anything he could not do. He decided that he would mirror the behavior of those successful people he admired until he became someone he could admire. Success leaves clues. Success is a science; if you do what other successful people do, you will be successful.

Many people underestimate the important role of environmental norms and expectations play in our behavior. We all have friends that either bring out the best in us or the worst in us. None of us are immune to the effect. It is often said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Continue reading “The Habit: Week-15 (Actively Seek Associations that Will Inspire You)”

DISCIPLINE ISN’T SOMETHING WE ARE BORN WITH

Our behaviors and attitudes are inseparably linked. When we change one, we change the other. Get in the habit of making good decisions, and you’ll become a person that habitually makes good decisions. We don’t do because we are, we are because we do. Habits form our character. Our reputation to ourselves and others is based on our habitual patterns of behavior; our habits.

When we form disciplined habits, we become a disciplined person. We developed character through our actions, not because we innately possess the virtue. We are all born the same, naked, ignorant, unable to even lift our heads. In “The Last Days Newsletter,” Leonard Ravenhill tells the story of a small group of tourists visiting a beautiful picturesque village. One of the tourists asks an old man of the village if any great men had been born in this village. The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”[i] Continue reading “DISCIPLINE ISN’T SOMETHING WE ARE BORN WITH”