How to Put Out an APB on Your Habits
If you have been keeping up with me you have probably been seeing some of my writings about habits. I recently read Charles DuHigg’s book called (appropriately) HABIT Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and have been writing about some of the fine points (there are many) from the book. The basic premise is that habits rule our lives – and can make our life what we want it to be. That’s a really small nutshell for everything in the book, but it serves the purpose for what I want to share today.
Duhigg is talking about physical habits – what we do, how we act and react and when we do things. I want to shift that a little bit in connection with a section of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Your Erroneous Zones. The message here is that not only can you change your physical habits, you can change your thinking habits, too.
“It is not easy to think in new ways. You are accustomed to a certain set of thoughts and the debilitating thoughts that follow.”
And since everything follows your thoughts, thinking and thoughts are the first area we should prioritize when considering personal development, don’t you think? It may be a challenge, but that is certainly no reason to avoid doing it.
He gives us three steps (APB) to follow to make the change occur – and stick.
Step 1 – Awareness. You have to become aware of your thinking and adjust it so that it suits your purpose and builds success and happiness. That means to eliminate the Negative Nellie putting yourself and things around you down. Disrupt (heard that before?) the pattern. Create new habits of thinking and more positive mental patterns.
Step 2 – Practice. Think about this: You have develop the patterns and habits you have over thousands of hours and, probably, thousands of days. You can’t change them over night. It reminds me of a comment I heard recently: Belly fat doesn’t show up overnight, why do you expect it to leave that way? Just like losing weight takes commitment, practice and perseverance, so will changing your mental habits.
Step 3 – Believe. Perhaps you’re skeptical. Think back to learning to ride a bike or cook an egg or turning a cartwheel. Once you sort of accomplished it, all of a sudden you started to believe you could and then, after a few successful attempts, you knew you could.
Now in Dyer’s book, he’s talking about achieving happiness. But when you step back, you can see that this “change of mental habit” can be used in all aspects of life and even business, which is why I am sharing it with you.
You have heard things like this before, I know. But now I want to give you an example of HOW TO APPLY IT so that you can see how it can work. Theory and concept is great, but I like good old application … so here we go.
Think about going to the dentist – and you know you have a cavity. Yes, the drill. You can hear it in your head and you can feel that churning start in your stomach. After all, you have been taught that going to the dentist is a nasty experience, and one that is associated with pain. You dread it. You always have and you probably always will, right?
Well, maybe not.
Dyer says that your reaction is a LEARNED REACTION. That means you can change it. You could make the whole experience work FOR you instead by choosing to make it a pleasant, exciting procedure. You could, if you really decided to use your brain, make the drill signal a beautiful experience you have had. You could think something different about what you used to call pain and choose to feel something new and pleasurable.
Dyer’s following quote makes so much sense:
“How much more exciting and fulfilling to take charge and master your own dental world environment than to hang on to the old images and just endure.”
Imagine if you could use that same process to adjust your thinking about everything – and he (along with many other brain scientists) says it is absolutely possible. Did you know that humans use only about 10% of their brain power? Imagine what would be possible if we used more – and made it a habit to use more. What kind of a business would you have, besides exceedingly successful? Take some time and think about what that could mean for you and everyone around you.
To Your Success!