I remember when I first started doing self-development, I felt pulled like a magnet – towards the path of least resistance. This was especially exaggerated when I was doing something that I found slightly beyond my comfort zone.
As you can imagine, this cycle is incredibly frustrating. I can wager that you’ve gone through this cycle of agony and despair many times, leading you to believe that you can’t quit your bad habits.
Turns out, it’s not entirely your fault. There are subtle and sly forces in our environment that prevent us from breaking common bad habits and quitting them for good.
I’ve highlighted them in this article.
This post arose out of an answer I wrote on the site Quora in response to a question asking: “What advice would you give to a 25-year-old man wanting to learn so many things? “
I thought this answer would make a solid blog post, so here we are.
You can find the original answer here.
You can find/follow me on Quora here.
As his apprenticeship progressed, his writing skills improved tremendously. To flex his new “muscle”, Franklin approached his brother requesting to write for the New England Courant. His brother vehemently refused.
Hitler’s war machine was in full effect. Denmark and Norway had been invaded by Germany. An offensive was launched by the Germans to topple France and scoop up the Netherlands. Mussolini-led Italy had sieged the Mediterranean and were gobbling up countries like a fat boy gobbling up Chick-Fil-A nuggets…
It was only until I came across a gem of a book called As a Man Thinketh did I get the mental equivalent of a 2×4 smack across the head.
That familiar “woooshing” sound when trying to connect to the Internet rings in my head like yesterday.
Twenty-ish years later, that time seems like the Paleolithic era.
Smartphones, watches, all sorts of doo-dads that connect to the Internet effortlessly are now par for the course.
As such, the rate of change has rapidly increased bringing with it a sense of a loss of control. More namely, a loss of self-esteem and self efficacy.
If you go into a bookstore or even type in “how to be productive” or “books on productivity” on Amazon, you’ll find a ton of resources related to being productive.
This is all well and good, but it doesn’t get at the cause. These books are only effects.
They don’t address the root question most people have on their mind:
A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods. – Mason Currey
The workplace and the home are two places we spend the most time…but these are two places where we feel creativity is “out of place”.
Why would this be?