Short-cut to success

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

You can succeed in everything with great habits. You don’t need to lose weight, you just need better eating habits then you’ll achieve your ideal weight, You don’t need more money- (okay, you do but you can better manage what you have before you get your millions), you just need better financial habits and you’ll always have enough money to manage anything that comes up and so on.

You can be the architect of your habits rather than a victim of them. We mostly complain about wanting more money, losing weight or some other result but the truth is your bank account is most often the lagging measure of your financial habits, your weight a lagging measure of your eating habits, your level of knowledge a measure of your reading habits and ideally we think the thing that needs to change is the bank account or number on the scale but what really needs to change are the actions that preceded these outcomes.

Every action you take is a stepping stone to the outcome. If you master the right actions and habits will greatly shape the outcome. Doing 10 push-ups does not transform a body but creating consistency and a good habit around it will eventually lead to you attaining the desired result. A habit is something you do almost automatic or can be done on autopilot without much energy. The brain needs them because we use energy in everything we do. To use energy, you need more energy and the body always tries to conserve energy. Habits assist greatly in energy conservation. Understanding what habits are, how they work and how to structure them is very key to be an architect of your own life.

When we buy a book or a gym membership, we normally buy the expectation we expect to get from the book or gym. The image that the sales page creates in the mind, the reward always coming after the action, the same for the gym. When we get coffee, we are motivated by the craving that we’ll get satisfied by the expected coffee taste which can only be achieved after taking the coffee not before which is like a reward. So, habits are triggered by cue, craving, response then reward.

For the cue, they should be obvious, available and easy to see. The things that you see in your physical environment influence your behavior. For example, if you feel you watch too much television restructure the space, turn the seat from the television or make the television less visible for example, put it in a cabinet. Cravings should be attractive; the response should be easy and reward satisfying. If these are followed, it becomes easy to create good habits.

You don’t need to figure everything out. You don’t need to see how it all fits together. All you need is to practice directing your attention to the life you want.

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