The importance of habits


Excellent post from The Energy Project – one of my favourite blogs for motivation!

The proper role for your pre-frontal cortex is to decide what behavior you want to change, design the ritual you’ll undertake, and then get out of the way. “It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing,” the philosopher A.N. Whitehead explained back in 1911. “The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”

I crave a state where I can get done what I want and need to get done, without it feeling like an uphill struggle. I do indeed spend far too much time thinking about what I’m going to do – making lists included! – using up all that energy I should be conserving for actual doing!


3 responses »

  1. This is very true. I recently read a book called “Incognito” which was about the unconscious brain, and it had a bit in it about tennis-playing robots – then it said that’s exactly what modern tennis players are. They train so much that their responses become automatic, which is what they need to be as the speed of modern tennis is so fast. That really struck me.

    Less time thinking (which can so easily lead to vacillating / procrastinating), more time doing!

    That looks like a really interesting blog, thanks for posting the link.


  2. Yes, I’m bad for spending oodles of time on planning, listing, prepping… busy work that makes me feel like I did something, when really I did nothing. The other night, I spent ages entering a bunch of books that I want to read into my “Goodreads” lists… until it struck me that, I could be spending the time in actually reading one of those books. I wonder if one can make “just get to it” into a habit??


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