The power of habit is a currently popular topic, no doubt through the lens of James Clear, Harvard Business Review, and similar ilk. Social media influencers give us all sorts of ‘hacks’ to make a habit in 30 days, get a flat belly, and more. While there’s a mix of good and a lot of junk “science” out there, I’m here to remind you of the simple fact that we as people stand on layers and layers and layers of habits, practice, and learning.
Being Friendly To Alexa
The precise reason I’m cordial to computers is that I like to be consistent and stay in the practice of:
- Expressing gratitude
- Being mannered when responding
- Subtly admitting A.I. and machine learning will soon take over (kinda kidding)
- Being unique
Marie Kondo, of viral fame in her Netflix show Tidying Up, for different reasons attempts to practice gratitude with physical items she disposes of- what a neat practice that likely develops some excellent patterns in her life.
Fear Not- No This Isn’t A Commentary On Technology
When learning to be less fearful, anxious, and avoidant, it is helpful to remember the sheer amount of fear inputs you give your brain on a daily basis will result in some serious training- not always of the good kind. Coming out of the gate (or as I prefer to say, “coming in hot”) with fearful thoughts about the day and people will build over time. Break this habit.
- Check your first emails of the day with a NET positive (or at least neutral) stance.
- When you have to spend money on something you wish you didn’t, remind yourself of the purpose (like with bills, insurance, taxes).
- When you notice yourself interpreting someone else’s actions negatively, attempt to observe only the objective details first (think: “my friend left after 30 minutes instead of their usual hour” vs. “they were rude and didn’t care about my thoughts”).
- Pause with difficult things and tell yourself that challenges present opportunities.
Neuroscience’s Famous Lesson
Neuroscience’s (likely) most famous lesson in the last decade is that new neural pathways can be developed by anyone at any stage. That’s why I say ‘thank you’ to Alexa, use my car turn signal in empty parking lots, and occasionally go the other way and throw off my routine- choosing a different leg of my pants to start with first- just to remind myself of the power of habit- and the possibility of change.