Mind Pockets… Our Curse, Our Blessing

July 7, 2015 Colin

One of the things that got me starting in reading and learning about business, marketing, people, and our lives in general was the first concept that I read about.  This concept actually consumed me, I thought it was exceptionally interesting, especially because I thought I knew about it already. But I didn’t, and I think there is something about learning new things about an idea that you thought you knew about that makes it extra interesting.

Humans have an interesting need for it, that I would have never figured.  Simply because it’s typically spoken about in a negative format.

Habits, these are the things that run the human species.  Like I said, I always, or in most cases thought of the concept of habits when I was talking about myself or someone who has bad habits.  But here’s the thing, habits are extremely necessary.  So necessary that, without them we would be a lifeless sack of bones.

There’s not just bad habits, and not only are there good habits but there are essential habits.  And there are more good and essential habits that bad by a long shot.

We live everyday with our habits. When you wake up and brush your teeth, when you tie your shoes, when you drive to work, and countless other tasks through out our day.  Without them we would be lost in an endless ocean of decisions.

The problem with that is, when we make decisions we are using willpower.  Which believe it or not isn’t something that we have a lot of. Each day we awaken with a certain amount based on our willpower muscle. That’s another article for another day.  But we can wear out our willpower muscle if we are having to make decision after decision.

So to compensate for this, our brain has created habits for us to use for getting menial stuff done.

Have you ever had a day where you were extra tired but didn’t know why.  Well look back, or pay attention next time.  It’s probably because you spent the day doing things that you had to use will power to do.  Like making a lot of decisions or doing things that you have to force yourself to do.

For example there are those of us who have to force ourselves to go to our job everyday. If you go to a job everyday that you don’t like and you basically endured the day with bitterness and negativity, well then that’s why your so tired everyday. And the even scarier part is, that with that bitterness and negativity, your mind will create a habit for you so it’s not as hard on your willpower.

The other thing about habits that can be very scary and amazing is that once it’s been created there’s no turning back!  Habits are like pockets that your mind creates and fills with an action or task.  These pockets, once formed cannot be shut, they are forever apart of you.  But here’s the good news! Just because the pocket has been formed that doesn’t mean you can’t fill it with something different than the habit that stretched it into existence.

Habits aren’t formed out of nowhere.  They require three other things that bring about the habit.  It’s a circle with three points revolving around the fourth point.  The first point in the circle is the Cue which triggers the middle point that spins the circle.  That middle point is the Craving, the desire to get to the last point in the circle, the Reward.  But in order to get to the reward you have to perform the most important part of the circle,  the Routine.

This is how habits work.  But more importantly, this is how they are formed.

With this topic being a favorite of mine is has naturally become a little long.  So for the sake of your time I’m going to turn this into a two or three part article.  This being the conclusion to the first part.

In the next parts I will go more in depth with the habit circle and how we can use this knowledge to create a more focused and rewarding life. I will also go more into detail about how this stuff was figured out,  it’s not just my opinion.  There is a great story about a monkey named Julio. And an even better story about one of the best Ad men ever!  His work with toothpaste, not only changed the American idea about dental hygiene.  But brought about the foundation for advertising and marketing as we know it.


Motivation gets you started. Habit keep you going

Jim Rohn


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