My rating: 95/100
See Book Notes for other books I have read. If you like my notes, go buy it!
Key principles and facts I’ve taken from this book:
- You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
- Behaviors followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated and those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated.
- The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
- The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, (4) and make it satisfying.
- It is the anticipation of a reward – not the fulfillment of it – that gets us to take action.
- There are many different ways to address the same underlying motive. Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face; they are just the methods you learned to use.
- Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.
- What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
- Humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
Chapter 1 The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits
Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat. #categoricalimperative pg 18
The most tasks you can handle without thinking, the more your brain is free to focus on other areas. #standardize
Negative thoughts compound. The more you think of yourself as worthless, stupid, or ugly, the more you condition yourself to interpret life that way. You get trapped in a thought loop.
Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. This pattern shows up everywhere.
James calls this the Plateau of Latent Potential.
Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from 25 to 31 degrees. … When you finally break through the plateau of latent potential, people will call it an overnight success.
Forget about goals, focus on systems instead.
Problem #1: Winners and Losers have the same goals. Goal setting suffers from a serious case of survivorship bias.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
Chapter 2 How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)
Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: (1) we try to change the wrong thing and (2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way.
The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.
Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.
The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
Research has shown that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief.
Many people walk through life in a cognitive slumber, blindly following the norms attached to their identity. … e.g. I’m terrible with directions. I’m not a morning person. I’m bad at remembering people’s names.
What negative story have you been identifying with for years?
The Two Step Process To Changing Your Identity
Your identity emerges out of your habits. You are not born with preset beliefs. Every belief, including those about yourself, is learned and conditioned through experience.
- Decide the type of person you want to be.
- Prove it to yourself with small wins.
- There are three levels of change: outcome change, process change, and identity change.
- The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
- Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
- Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
- The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.
Chapter 3 How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps
Behaviors followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated and those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated.
Occasionally, like a cat pressing on a lever, you stumble across a solution. You’re feeling anxious, and you discover that going for a run calms you down. You’re mentally exhausted from a long day of work, and you learn that playing video games relaxes you. You’re exploring, exploring, exploring, and then – BAM – a reward.
After you stumble upon an unexpected reward, you alter your strategy for next time. Your brain immediately begins to catalog the events that preceded the reward. Wait a minute – that felt good. What did I do right before that?
This is the feedback loop behind all human behavior: try, fail, learn, try differently. With practice, the useless movements fade away and the useful actions get reinforced. That’s a habit forming.
Without good financial habits, you will always be struggling for the next dollar. Without good health habits, you will always seem to be short on energy. Without good learning habits, you will always feel like you’re behind the curve. If you’re always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks – when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills – then you have less time for freedom.
The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
- A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.
- The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort as possible.
- Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps: cue, craving, response, reward.
- The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, (4) and make it satisfying.
The First Law, Make It Obvious: Chapter 4 The Man Who Didn’t Look Right
Pointing and Calling – train attendants point at objects with their finger and call out commands verbally before a train departs. Pointing and Calling reduces errors by up to 85% and cuts accidents by 30%. #safety
We need a “point and call” system for our personal lives.
- With enough practice, your brain will pick up on the cues that predict certain outcomes without consciously thinking about it.
- Once our habits become automatic, we stop paying attention to what we are doing.
- The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.
- Pointing-and-Calling raises your level of awareness from a non-conscious habit to a more conscious level by verbalizing your actions.
- The Habits Scorecard is a simple exercise you can use to become more aware of your behavior.
The First Law, Make It Obvious: Chapter 5 The Best Way to Start a New Habit
The format for creating an implementation intention is: “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”
The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
We often say yes to little requests because we are not clear enough about what we need to be doing instead.
One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.
The habit stacking formula is: “After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”
- Meditation. After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.
- Exercise. After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
- Gratitude. After I sit down to dinner, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened today.
- Marriage. After I get into bed at night, I will give my partner a kiss.
- Safety. After I put on my running shoes, I will text a friend or family member where I am running and how long it will take.
You can insert new behaviors into the middle of your current routines. For example, you may already have a morning routine that looks like this: Wake up > Make my bed > Take a shower. Let’s say you want to develop the habit of reading more each night. You can expand your habit stack and try something like: Wake up > Make my bed > Place a book on my pillow > Take a shower. Now, when you climb into bed each night, a book will be sitting there waiting for you to enjoy.
- The 1st Law of Behavior Change is make it obvious.
- The two most common cues are time and location.
- Creating an implementation intention is a stretegy you can use to pair a new habit with a specific time and location.
- The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
- Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit.
- The habit stacking formula is: After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
The First Law, Make It Obvious: Chapter 6 Motivation is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More
The mantra I find useful is “One space, one use.”
- Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.
- Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out.
- Make the cues of good habits obvious in your environment.
- Gradually, your habits become associated not with a single trigger but with the entire context surrounding the behavior. The context becomes the cue.
- It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues.
The First Law, Make It Obvious: Chapter 7 The Secret to Self-Control
If you’re an addict, you’ve been told your entire life that it is because you lack self-control – maybe even that you’re a bad person. The idea that a little bit of discipline would solve all our problems is deeply embedded in our culture.
“Disciplined” people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control.
One of the most practical ways to eliminate a bad habit is to reduce exposure to the cue that causes it.
- If you can’t seem to get any work done, leave your phone in another room for a few hours.
- If you’re continually feeling like you’re not enough, stop following social media accounts that trigger jealousy and envy.
- If you’re wasting too much time watching television, move the TV out of the bedroom
- If you’re spending too much money on electronics, quit reading reviews of the latest tech gear.
- If you’re playing too many video games, unplug the console and put it in a closet after each use.
- The inversion of the 1st Law of Behavior is make it invisible.
- Once a habit if formed, it is unlikely to be forgotten.
- People with high self-control tend to spend less time in tempting situations. It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist it.
- One of the most practical ways to eliminate a bad habit is to reduce exposure to the cue that causes it.
- Self-control is a short term strategy, not a long term one.
The Second Law, Make it Attractive: Chapter 8 How to Make a Habit Irresistible
Dopamine is released not only when you experience pleasure, but also when you anticipate it. Gambling addicts have a dopamine spike right before they place a bet, not after they win.
It is the anticipation of a reward – not the fulfillment of it – that gets us to take action.
Scientists refer to this as the difference between “wanting” and “liking”.
Your brain has far more neural circuitry allocated for wanting rewards than for liking them.
Temptation bundling works by linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
The habit stacking + temptation bundling formula is:
- After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [HABIT I NEED].
- After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT].
If you want to read the news, but you need to express more gratitude:
- After I get my morning coffee, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened yesterday (need).
- After I say one thing I’m grateful for, I will read the news.
If you want to watch sports, but you need to make sales calls:
- After I get back from my lunch break, I will call three potential clients (need).
- After I call three potential clients, I will check ESPN (want).
If you want to check Facebook, but you need to exercise more:
- After I pull out my phone, I will do ten burpees (need).
- After I do ten burpees, I will check Facebook.
- The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive.
- The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit forming.
- Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When dopamine riuses, so does our motivation to act.
- It is the anticipation of a reward – not the fulfillment of it – that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.
- Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
The Second Law, Make it Attractive: Chapter 9 The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits
We imitate the habits of three groups in particular:
- The close
- The many
- The powerful
Each group offers an opportunity to leverage the 2nd Law of Behavior Change and make our habits more attractive.
A person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese.
To make your habits even more attractive, you can take this strategy one step further. Join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.
Humans everywhere pursue power, prestige, and status. We want pins and medallions on our jackets.
- The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us.
- We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
- We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: the close (family and friends), the many (the tribe), and the powerful (those with status and prestige).
- One of the most effective things you can do is build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.
- The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
- If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.
The Second Law, Make it Attractive: Chapter 10 How to Fix the Causes of Your Bad Habits
Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper, underlying motive.
Some of our underlying motives include:
- Conserve energy
- Obtain food and water
- Find love and reproduce
- Connect and bond with others
- Win social acceptance and approval
- Reduce uncertainty
- Achieve status and prestige
Here’s the powerful part: there are many different ways to address the same underlying motive. Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face; they are just the methods you learned to use.
It is only when you predict that you would be better off in a different state that you take action.
In time, you will learn to predict that checking social media will help you feel loved or that watching YouTube will allow you to forget your fears.
Now, imagine changing just one word: You don’t “have” to. You “get” to. You get to wake up early for work.
My thoughts on this: I call BS. This might seem like a neat little trick, but trying to convince myself that something is fun when it’s clearly not, is just stupid.
Reframing your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks is a fast and lightweight way to reprogram your mind and make a habit seem more attractive.
Create a short routine that you perform every time before you do the thing you love.
- The inversion of the 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it unattractive.
- Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive.
- Your habits are modern day solutions to ancient desires.
- The cause of your habits is actually the prediction that precedes them. The prediction leads to a feeling.
- Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.
- Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings. Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.
The 3rd Law, Make It Easy: Chapter 11 Walk Slowly, but Never Backward
We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. I refer to this as the difference between being in motion and taking action.
If I outline twenty ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion. If I actually sit down and write an article, that’s action.
This is the first takeaway of the 3rd Law: you just need to get your reps in.
Hebb’s Law: “Neuron’s that fire together wire together.”
One of the most common questions I hear is, “How long does it take to build a new habit?” But what people really should be asking is, “How many does it take to form a new habit?” This is, how many repetitions are required to make a habit automatic?
- The 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it easy.
- The most effective form of learning is practice, not planning.
- Focus on taking action, not being in motion.
- Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition.
- The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it.
The 3rd Law, Make It Easy: Chapter 12 The Law of Least Effort
On the tough days, it’s crucial to have as many things working in your favor as possible so that you can overcome the challenges life naturally throws your way.
When deciding where to practice a new habit, it is best to choose a place that is already along the path of your daily routine.
They reduce the number of fields on each form.
Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.
“Resetting the room.” When he finishes watching television, he places the remote back on the TV stand, arranges the pillows on the couch, and folds the blanket.
- Want to draw more? Put your pencils, pens, notebooks, and drawing tools on top of your desk, within easy reach.
- Want to exercise? Set out your workout clothes, shoes, gym bag, and water bottle ahead of time.
- Want to improve your diet? Chop up a ton of fruits and vegetables on weekends and pack them in containers, so you have easy access to healthy, ready-to-eat options during the week.
You can also invert this principle and prime the envionment to make bad behaviors difficult. If you find yourself watching too much television, for example, then unplug it after each use.
The greater the friction, the less likely the habit. I leave my phone in a different room until lunch.
- Human behavior follows the Law of Least Effort. We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.
- Create an environment where doing the right things is as easy as possible.
- Reduce the friction associated with good behaviors. When friction is low, habits are easy.
- Increase the friction associated with bad behaviors. When friction is high, habits are difficult.
- Prime your environment to make future actions easier.
The 3rd Law, Make It Easy: Chapter 13 How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two-Minute Rule
When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.
- “Read before bed each night,” becomes “Read one page.”
- “Do thirty minutes of yoga,” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
- “Study for class,” becomes “Open my notes.”
- “Fold the laundry,” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
- “Run three miles,” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”
The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.
Ernest Hemingway believed “The best way is to always stop when you are going good.”
- Habits can be completed in a few seconds but continue to impact your behavior for minutes or hours afterward.
- Many habits occur at decisive moments – choices that are like a form in the road – and either send you in the direction of a productive day or an unproductive one.
- The Two-Minute Rule states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”
- The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.
- Standardize before you optimize. You can’t improve a habit that doesn’t exist.
The 3rd Law, Make It Easy: Chapter 14 How to Make Good Habits Inevitable and Bad Habits Impossible
A commitment device is a choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future.
Habits expert Nir Eyal purchased an outlet timer, which is an adapter that he plugged in between his internet router and the power outlet. At 10 PM each night, the outlet timer cuts off the power to the router.
The best way to break a bad habit is to make it impractical to do. Increase the friction until you don’t even have the option to act.
North Whitehead wrote, “Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”
Binge-watching becomes a habit because you have to put more effort in to stop looking at the screen than to continue doing so.
During the year I was writing this book, I experimented with a new time management strategy. Every Monday, my assistant would reset the passwords on all my social media accounts, which logged me out on each device. All week I worked without distraction. On Friday, she would send me the new passwords. I had the entire weekend to enjoy what social media had to offer until Monday morning when she would do it again. (If you don’t have an assistant, team up with a friend or family member and reset each other’s passwords each week.)
- The inversion of the 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it difficult.
- A commitment device is a choice you make in the present that locks in better behavior in the future.
- The ultimate way to lock in future behavior is to automate your habits.
- Onetime choices – like buying a better mattress or enrolling in an automatic savings plan – are single actions that automate your future habits and deliver increasing returns over time.
- Using technology to automate your habits is the most reliable and effective way to guarantee the right behavior.
The 4th Law, Make It Satisfying: Chapter 15 The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change
We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.
The costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future.
The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
The vital thing in getting a habit to stick is to feel successful – even if it’s in a small way. The feeling of success is a signal that your habit paid off and that the work was worth the effort.
The best approach is to use reinforcement, which refers to the process of using an immediate reward to increase the rate of behavior.
Immediate reinforcement can be especially helpful when dealing with habits of avoidance, which are behaviors you want to stop doing.
One solution is to turn the situation on its head. You want to make avoidance visible. Open a savings account and label it for something you want – maybe “Leather Jacket.” Whenever you pass on a purchase, put the same amount of money in the account. Skip your morning latte? Transfer $5. Pass on another month of Netflix? Move $10 over. It’s like creating a loyalty program for yourself. The immediate reward of seeing yourself save money toward the leather jacket feels a lot better than being deprived. You are making it satisfying to do nothing.
- The 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it satisfying.
- We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.
- The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards.
- The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.
- To get a habit to stick you need to feel immediately successful – even if it’s in a small way.
The 4th Law, Make It Satisfying: Chapter 16 How to Stick with Good Habits Every Day
A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit. The most basic format is to get a calendar and cross off each day you stick with your routine.
Recording your last action creates a trigger that can initiate your next one.
First, whenever possible, measurement should be automated.
Second, manual tracking should be limited to your most important habits. It is better to consistently track one habit than to sporadically track ten.
The habit stacking + habit tracking formula is:
After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [TRACK MY HABIT].
- After I hang up the phone from a sales call, I will move one paper clip over.
- After I finish each set at the gym, I will record it in my workout journal.
- After I put my plate in the dishwasher, I will write down what I ate.
No matter how consistent you are with your habits, it is inevitable that life will interrupt you at some point. Perfection is not possible.
Whenever this happens to me, I try to remind myself of a simple rule: never miss twice.
- One of the most satisfying feelings is the feeling of making progress.
- A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit – like marking an X on a calendar.
- Habit trackers and other visual forms of measurement can make your habits satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress. Don’t break the chain. Try to keep your habit streak alive.
- Never miss twice.If you miss one day, try to get back on track as quickly as possible.
- Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing.
The 4th Law, Make It Satisfying: Chapter 17 How an Accountability Partner Can Change Everything
Inversion of the 4th Law: Make it immediately unsatisfying.
The more immediate and more costly a mistake is, the faster you will learn from it. The threat of a bad review forces a plumber to be good at his job. The possibility of a customer never returning makes restaurants create good food. The cost of cutting the wrong blood vessel makes a surgeon master human anatomy and cut carefully. When the consequences are severe, people learn quickly. The more immediate the pain, the less likely the behavior.
You can create a habit contract to hold yourself accountable. A habit contract is a verbal or written agreement in which you state your commitment to a particular habit and the punishment that will occur if you don’t follow through.
- The inversion of the 4th Law is make it unsatisfying.
- We are less likely to repeat a bad habit if it is painful or unsatisfying.
- An accountability partner can create an immediate cost to inaction. We care deeply about what others think of us, and we do not want others to have a lesser opinion of us.
- A habit contract can be used to add a social cost to any behavior. It makes the costs of violating your promises public and painful.
- Knowing that someone else is watching you can be a powerful motivator.
Advanced Tactics: How to Go from Being Merely Good to Being Truly Great
Chapter 18 The Truth About Talent (When Genes Matter and When They Don’t)
The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition. Habits are easier to perform, and more satisfying to stick with, when they align with your natural inclinations and abilities.
“It is now at the point where we have stopped testing to see if traits have a genetic component because we literally can’t find a single one that isn’t influenced by our genes.” – Robert Plomin
The big five: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
If you are currently winning, you can exploit, exploit, exploit. If you are currently losing, you continue to explore, explore, explore.
- The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.
- Pick the right habit and progress is easy. Pick the wrong habit and life is a struggle.
- Genes cannot be easily changed, which means they provide a powerful advantage in favorable circumstances and a serious disadvantage in unfavorable circumstances.
- Habits are easier when they align with your natural abilities. Choose the habits that best suit you.
- Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find a game that favors you, create one.
- Genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on.
Chapter 19 The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Work
Why is it that some people stick with their habits while most of us struggle to stay motivated? How do we design habits that pull us in rather than ones that fade away? One of the most consistent findings is that the way to maintain motivation and achieve peak levels of desire is to work on tasks of “just manageable difficulty.”
The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
Scientists found that to achieve a state of flow, a task must be roughly 4 percent beyond your current ability.
Really successful people feel the same lack of motivation as everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom.
Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work toward it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life.
- The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.
- The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.
- As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored.
- Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference.
- Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.
Chapter 20 The Downside of Creating Good Habits
The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside of habits is that you get used to doing things a certain way and stop paying attention to little errors.
Some research has shown that once a skill has been mastered there is usually a slight decline in performance over time.
What you need is a combination of automatic habits and deliberate practice.
Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery
Surgeons need to repeat the first incision so many times that they could do it with their eyes closed, so that they can focus on the hundreds of variables that arise during surgery.
It is precisely at the moment when you begin to feel like you have mastered a skill that you must avoid slipping into the trap of complacency. The solution? Establish a system for reflection and review.
The key to mitigating these losses of identity is to redefine yourself such that you get to keep important aspects of your identity even if your particular role changes.
- “I’m an athelete” becomes “I’m the type of person who is mentally tough and loves a physical challenge.”
- “I’m a great soldier” transforms into “I’m the type of person who is disciplined, reliable, and great on a team.”
- “I’m the CEO” translates to “I’m the type of person who builds and creates things.”
- The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside is that we stop paying attention to little errors.
- Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery
- Reflection and review is a process that allows you to remain conscious of your performance over time.
- The tighter we cling to an identity, the harder it becomes to grow beyond it.
Read more at https://jamesclear.com/
How to apply these ideas to business: atomichabits.com/business
How to apply these ideas to parenting: atomichabits.com/parenting
How to Apply These Ideas to Business
Every behavior is preceded by a prediction. The customer does not buy your product; they buy the prediction it creates in their mind.
From a business standpoint, perhaps the most effective way to employ the 3rd Law of Behavior Change is to map out the chain of behaviors that a customer must perform to purchase your product or use your service, and then search for any possible area where you can reduce the friction associated with task.
Business is a never-ending quest to deliver the same result in an easier fashion.
The product should solve the problem and, if possible, it should do so with some surprise or delight as well.
Behaviors that make you feel good – that is, behaviors that are followed by an immediate sense of satisfaction or praise or encouragement or pleasure – are exactly the kind of behaviors you want to repeat in the future.
Temptation bundling – By pairing a “want” with a “need” you can make any product more attractive and gradually condition the buyer to crave your offering. It’s one of the core philosophies behind many advertising campaigns.
The more you can use social proof to show potential customers that “people like you use our product,” the greater likelihood you have in altering someone’s behavior.
Wanting huge Pavlovian and social proof effects we [Coca-Cola] will always spend on advertising and sales promotion, per serving, over 40 percent of the fountain price for syrup needed to make the serving.
I briefly cover the inversion of each law and how to use it to our favor. [Charlie] Munger is employing a similar method of thinking here where he is “inverting” and thinking about the opposite of what he wants to occur and how a good business might avoid those outcomes. This approach, known simply as inversion, is a powerful way to think more clearly and it can give you a big leg up in business. I wrote more about it here: https://jamesclear.com/inversion #fearsetting #fmea