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 breaking bad habits is impossible.
Turns out, it’s not entirely your fault. There are subtle and sly forces in our environment that prevent us from breaking 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.
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.
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?
For the most prosperous nation on earth with rising quality of living indexes across the board, that’s a piss poor rating. Why the fuck isn’t everyone happy?
Here’s why: happiness goes where attention flows.
The quality of your attention will determine the joy you get out of life. Period.
Your neighbor lives in a great house. He has an awesome significant other. He takes amazing vacations. He has all the (outward) trappings of a killer life.
Shit. He’s more jacked than you.
He regularly exercises.
He blazes through a metric ton of books.
He even has a better golf swing!
What the hell is going on? Why is he better at you in almost every conceivable way? He doesn’t seem to have one flaw!
You can’t find the reason for his success. You’ve known him for years. He comes from an “average” household. He had an “average” life. He even went to an “average” school.
What???? What’s the difference? You go mad trying to figure it out.
This guy is purely a character I pulled out of my ass, but the reality isn’t that far off.
Luckily, you don’t have to go far to find the answer. It’s a lot closer than you think. So close that, frankly…it IS what you think with.
One of them is the myth about “Bigfoot” (he might be real, ya never know!).
Another myth is the infamous “Harvard goal study”.
(The above is a slightly shameless plug for my recent post on the best way to set goals *wink wink*)
But you know the most deadly myth of them all?
I’ve been told this tooooo many times to count and I’m sure you have too.
I wanna spill the beans on something real quick before we go on, though….
“Man is by nature a goal striving being…he is not happy unless he is functioning as he was made to function – as a goal striver.” – Maxwell Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics
We human beings are easily one of the most incredible pieces of creation on this great, green Earth.
We have the ability to grasp objects with our hands and use them how we see fit.
We have the ability to contemplate our existence on this planet and in the larger universe.
We have the ability to strengthen ourselves and engage in self-improvement to assist our evolution.
Most importantly of all, we have the ability to project to the future and shape it to our choosing.