I do think about you. I check how you’re doing, I bump into some of you occasionally and so I try and keep a gauge on how things are going.
In speaking with a few of you, it became clear that there is still some “thinking one is thinking” going on. It’s not a crime or a personality flaw or defect; it’s part of the default settings for humans… you, me, everyone has this tendency.
As we start putting things together, though, this tendency is a destroyer when building a new system of prosperity habits. I hope you can appreciate how that might be.
I’ve been looking for a way to encourage those who think that knowing “about” is the same as “getting it into the muscle”. Actually practicing and experimenting with stuff until the brain can do it for you is critical. At the same time, I want to present a crystal clear image that will illustrate what we are aiming for as a plan to move forward.
Although we use the analogy of robot, and talk about behaviors as if they exist in the singular; we are not machines, and actually human behavior is complex.
It would be great to be able to just plug in and download any particular thing we wished at will but, no… that’s not how humans work.
Even if we could, we have demonstrated as a species that we don’t so well in the wisdom department, when new technologies or shiny new toys are in front of us.
We just jump in and imagine we can do whatever what we want and it will be okay and someone else will pick up the pieces later on.
When you want to make large shifts in your life, you need to keep in mind that the habit-in-focus – whether it’s something you are annoyed with, or something you want to nurture – is like an iceberg (most of it is hidden from view). And, like any muscular activity in the body, it is balanced and “held up” and “held together” with many reciprocal balancing and reinforcing systems.
Without those balancing systems; the muscles don’t work. In the same way, when you are building a better system of habits, you need to develop the balancing and reinforcing systems to support the changes you want to make, or you are asking for…? Trouble. Unintended consequences. Failure, even.
What? What? What? This is all sounding suspiciously like work, and so it is.
Life is not a turnkey activity and you can’t buy everything you need and get someone else to do it for you.
Even those born to wealth eventually have to acquire significant life skills to keep what they were given or they WILL lose it. Therefore, many who were given the easy start end up unhappy and dissatisfied because LIFE isn’t meeting their expectations. It’s such a worry.
No, actually; it’s not a worry. It’s merely a condition of existence. Every step is the next step and, at the same time, every step is the first.
Let’s start looking at some plans:
- Choose a habit you are working to develop, or one from one of your lists that you would like to include in your better prosperity habits system. Start at a level where you can become successful at it in a modest way, before becoming grandiose.
- Write out a small end vision for the habit – what specifically you will be doing differently when you have achieved it, how the behavior functions (what it does), and what you will get from it.
A recent trainee used “Remembering my keys” which is fine for this process.
- “I remember to take my keys with me before I close my apartment door, each and every time I leave my apartment.”
- “By remembering to take my keys every time, it means I never have to pay another locksmith and open my door late at night, saving me hundreds each year.
- I never get stuck in the cold for hours, and I never have to get a friend to take me in or loan me money in the middle of the night ever again”
- “Well, I’ve got to REMEMBER WHERE THE KEYS ARE, so it would help to PUT THEM SOMEWHERE CONSISTENT.
- But to do that, I have to DECIDE WHERE THE KEYS GO.”
- “But before I can do that, I should probably PUT MY PHONE AND WALLET AND ID NECKLACE IN THE SAME PLACE,
- So I need to LOOK FOR THE BEST PLACE FOR ALL OF THEM.
- Once I’ve found that, I need to CLEAR THE SPACE…”
As you can see he is doing what is called “thinking it through” by focusing on actions (I’m kidding a little, but it can… possibly… might… be as simple as that.)
At the point where you want to stop, go back over it and check to see if you missed anything such as, in this instance, “remember… HOW?”.
“Ah… OK. I should probably MAKE THE PLACE I’M GOING TO PUT THEM UNIQUE in some way – a bowl or a different colored mat that only those things go on…”
AH! I need to PUT THEM ON THE MAT EVERY TIME I COME BACK OR AFTER I USE THEM!”
- Look for the best place for all of them (phone and wallet and id necklace).
- Clear the space.
- Make the place I’m going to put them unique.
- Put them on the mat every time I come back or after I use them (put them somewhere consistent)
- Remember where the keys are
- Look for the best place for all of them (phone and wallet and id necklace). I should plan this in for Sunday afternoon after lunch. Clear the space. Not too difficult – I’ll grab a garbage bag and some cleaning rags, just in case. Make the place I’m going to put them unique. I already know I’m going to use my neon green place mat… and I’m going to put it on the console in the hallway. Put them on the mat every time I come back or after I use them (put them somewhere consistent). Funny, I already know that this is going to be a problem. I have to find a way to make myself put them there. Maybe I’ll use the big arrow sign I’ve got. I could mount it over the mat. It’s big… it might do the job. Remember where the keys are. If I can get them on the mat, I can remember them
This isn’t an exercise of “what to do”; it’s an exercise of how to practice. It’s for getting a rule of thumb in place. 3/4 of habit hacking is getting the right rule of thumb embedded into habit. The other quarter is art.