The Power Of Habit By Charles Duhigg Animated Book
In the early 1900s, only 7 percent of Americans had toothpaste in their homes. After Pepsodent put a few ingredients in its toothpaste which had absolutely no effect on the cleanliness of teeth, that number jumped up to 65 percent in about a decade. What did Pepsodent do?
A few months ago, I wanted to meditate for 15 minutes a day. I had all the free time in the world, so I thought I would do it whenever I wanted to. After a few days, I realized I was extremely inconsistent.
I couldn’t believe my entire day was free and I couldn’t find 15 minutes. I started to blame myself for lacking discipline and having low willpower.
Luckily, I had just started reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Then I started working over 12 hours a day. Even though I was extremely busy, I realized over a month had passed and I hadn’t missed a single day of meditation. How did I do it?
Both Pepsodent and I used the power of the same concept—the habit loop. The habit loop is comprised of a routine, which is preceded by a cue, and followed by a reward. Pepsodent put citric acid and other chemicals in its formula, which had no effect on the cleanliness of teeth whatsoever. However, what they did produce was the cool, tingling sensation on the tongue and gums which we are so familiar with today. People in America had started to crave that feeling.
What did I do? I focused on the cue instead.
In my first case, there were no defined cues. So I made a simple change. I decided I was going to meditate when I took a bath in the morning. The location – my bathroom, the time – bath time in the morning, and the immediately preceding action – my waking up made the cue much stronger.
And this is exactly how you achieve consistency. You keep tweaking the cues and the rewards instead of beating yourself up for lacking discipline and having low willpower.
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