This is a very brief overview of some of the lessons ingrained within the pages of Charles Duhigg’s The Power Of Habit. To this day, it’s one of the best books I’ve read (you caught me, I like to break a mental sweat too). It was recommended to be my a friend who thought I might like to learn about something which I probably hadn’t committed much time to thinking about up to that point. Learning why we do what we do and becoming self-aware can make all the difference moving forward. Understand how habits develop and how you can harness that brain power and apply it daily. Master how to swap out bad habits for good ones with minor adjustments. “If you can diagnose your habits, you can change them in whichever way you want.”
“Repetition is the mother of skill.” – Tony Robbins
My dude Tony spitting some serious wisdom. It’s actually just another way of saying “practice makes perfect”. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. Following a cookbook time and time again on a recipe will eventually lead to the memorization and easy application of that knowledge. There’s no difference for muscle memory; after one day at the gym you may leave sore and discouraged, but your body will teach itself to adjust, making the exercise easier and easier.
“As experiences are repeated over and over, the brain reflects them as strengthened pathways, neural habits.” – Daniel Goleman
Doing something over and over again, training your brain to use less energy on something, thus allowing it to focus on something else. While that may seem more complex, you don’t even know when your brain is doing it. Getting into the habit of repeating an action will become second nature over time.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale
You set a goal to exceed your sales quota from last month, and every single day you step into work with the attitude of reaching that goal. Day in and day out you buckle down and work hard, eliminating distraction and increasing efficiency. With every phone call, whether successful or not, you gain something, and are that much closer towards hitting that target.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Charles R. Swindoll
In order to achieve those big dreams, you’ll need those small victories along the way. My life is not going to change overnight, but I can set small goals for myself and bust my ass until I hit that benchmark. Those small wins are not only a sign of progress, but they’re also motivation to keep moving towards that next small goal, all on the way towards that bigger dream.
I highly recommend picking up The Power Of Habit. It’s an easy read, and the lessons and insight I took from it will stick with me forever. The power that habits can create has no boundaries or limits, and everyone would do well to learn more about it.