The Ultimate Guide to Habits, Part One
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Habits. We all have them. They develop throughout our lives, starting in our earliest years.
Psychologists used to think that once our brains develop, our modes of thought are static. Recent findings have upturned this old definition. We have a golden opportunity to change our lives. It is called Neuroplasticity, and it can help change your life.
What is Neuroplasticity?
No, it’s not about inert plastic in the brain. Although when you observe some people, you wonder, right?
Humor aside, It is my hope that you’ll take away new ways of developing habits. And you’ll gain a little understanding of other people’s habits, too!
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to restructure itself. It makes personal growth and learning possible.Neuroplacticity is always ON. Unless you have some sort of brain damage, it never turns off. Your state of mind is never permanent. This includes bad habits, addictions and other patterns of behavior you wish to change.
You’re never the same person minute to minute, day to day. Keep this in mind while forming new habits.
How does it work?
Thoughts and actions are like a river. Water flows through channels of thought pathways. Even if the water goes away, the channel is still there. Even if you divert the water – remember, they are your thoughts and actions – the groove still exists.
But, this is not a reason to despair. Your thoughts can always carve out new channels and become stronger. And, with practice, never seep back into old channels.
Why even bother with neuroplasticity and changing habits?
Bad habits. We all have them. Let’s go through a few examples and their detriments.
Road Rage – Anger tends to cause heart and blood pressure issues. You will burn up more gas, too. And you’ll be more likely to get into an accident.
Smoking – Yeah, it’s pretty deadly.
Burning the midnight oil – lack of sleep ages us. Structuring your time wisely so you no longer have late nights takes a formation of a new habit.
Laziness – contributes to a lot of issues including obesity and missed opportunities. Do not confuse this with the basic human need of pleasure.
Seeing things only in the short term – You’re used to putting out small, daily fires. Planning for the future of your business is important. Developing this daily and weekly habit will help you immensely.
And finally: Negative self-talk – You do something that you feel is wrong and you beat yourself up over it.
This could very well be the number one reason for personal unhappiness in life and there’s many philosophers that agree.
What if, instead of breaking bad habits, you instead develop new habits to replace the old ones? This seems to coincide well with the remarkable phenomena that’s going on in our brains every moment of our waking day of the plasticity in our minds.
With a little self awareness, you can achieve your goals and overcome your habits, whatever they are.
Your mind isn’t some concrete thing – all habits can change at any time in your life. Your mind, and thus your life situation, needn’t be rigid and permanent.
You have the power within you to change. Science agrees with what philosophers and illuminated thinkers throughout history have been telling you.