The Smallest Difference and Big Change

Imae courtesy of: http://think-squad.com/

Imae courtesy of: http://think-squad.com/

The key to being successful in our endeavors is commonly simply changing our habits. As humans, we develop habits so that we can survive life. Having to go through the cognitive struggle of doing something the first time, every time we tried to do something would make our lives  a constant struggle that getting us nowhere. How the human mind has adapted to this is by creating of mental subroutines(habits) that continually operate to move common actions away from the forebrain and into rote activity. These  habits, by necessity, are not an active part of our thought processes. Unfortunately, that means that they are generally in the driver’s seat of our lives and are what is actually running our lives, and for the vast majority of us, we didn’t think about them even when they first were created.  That means that we have NEVER looked at where these things are taking us and the life that they are creating for us.

We need to change that fact in our lives if we want to move towards a goal of our choosing. The big habits are easy to spot, but they are not always the ones that will define our lives. With the big ones, they are easy to see and we can rationalize what the consequences are if we keep following them. Those are the ones that will be the first on our list to tackle and retrain, but the little ones are just as important to look at. Think of it this way, your goal is point you want to reach on the other side of the planet. You line yourself up on it and start off, but by the time you get halfway around the world, you are thousands of miles north or south of your desired point. This is because, at the start when you lines up, you had a 1% deviation off your ideal line. That 1% is a little habit that is going to drive you miles and miles off the course you want to live.

So the key here is to take time over the next portion of your life and be cognitive of your habits, the good ones and the bad ones. Take the time to map out what that long term effects of those habits are and if those long term effects really are what you want to have in your life. If they are, keep the habit. If they are not, then it is time to change. Habits are ingrained in our brains through repetition, and the only way to change them is through repetition. This means that we need to wake up and become aware of ourselves and what we are doing. Once we see that, we can stop ourselves as we get into the subroutine of a habit and change what we are doing. If we stick to this, making a better decision each time a negative habit shows up, we will re-train our habits into the ones we want. Soon we will find that we don’t even think of that donut as a breakfast item and instead reach for the fruit as a habit. These are little change that will result in massive effect down the road.

All it takes is a 1% shift in course to send us wildly off our goals, but that means that it only takes a 1% course correction to put us on our line to the future we want. What is the 1% shift that you are going to make to life the life of your dreams?

-Dominic

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