It’s easy to believe that we have to brute force self-discipline. That our willpower has to be like a block of iron that we hammer our desires into shape with.
But it turns out there’s an easier way; control your environment. It’s the same logic that says don’t keep alcohol in your house if you’re trying to cut down on the booze or don’t keep cigarettes in your car or your desk at work if you’re trying to quit smoking. It’s not just common sense, this is clinically proven to work:
There’s a study that I mentioned in the book, from Massachusetts General Hospital. They went into the cafeteria at the hospital and they added water to all of the fridges and they also added some of those little rolling carts that have water in them by the food stations in the cafeteria. And that was all they did. They didn’t talk to anybody. They didn’t motivate anybody. And then six months later, water sales are up by 25%, soda sales are down 11%.
And I always think that’s interesting, because if you were to go up to nay person in that room and be like, “Why are you drinking a Coke?” they’d be like, “I wanted a Coke!” “Why do you have water?” “This is what I felt like having!” But the truth is some percentage of them chose it just cause it was obvious, just because of what ne environment nudged them toward.
We’re more sensitive to ur environment than we might think. SO if you’re trying to maintain a new habit, think about the things in your environment that you could change to make things easier for yourself.
July 14, 2020 3:02 pm - Steve Peters
Being wrong is kind of like dying, which is probably why we do our best to avoid acknowledging it. But while much has been written about how to deal with death, far too little attention has been given to the far more traumatic topic of being wrong. I hope to correct that oversight here which…continue reading on Medium…
June 17, 2020 7:10 pm - Steve Peters
If you’re feeling demotivated, my advice is to go sky-diving or bungee-jumping or whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your mortality, and then get back to work. I mean, what possible explanation could there be for your procrastination other than you’ve forgotten that you’re going to die? (Actually, there is one other…continue reading on Medium…
Sometimes fear is useful. Sometimes it protects us from making mistakes, or hurting ourselves. Sometimes it reminds us to buckle our seatbelt, or to buy insurance.
But sometimes, perhaps more often than we care to admit, fear simply holds us back. It keeps us trapped in situations we don’t want to be in, by telling us that what’s outside is worse. This is where fear-setting comes in:
As soon as I cut through the vague unease and ambiguous anxiety by defining my nightmare, the worst-case scenario, I wasn’t as worried about taking a trip. Suddenly, I started thinking of simple steps I could take to salvage my remaining resources and get back on track if all hell struck at once
Fear thrives because it’s so awful that we’re unwilling to examine it too closely. “My presence is enough,” fear tells us, “don’t bother checking whether what I’m saying is true.”
It’s surprising how quickly fear scurry away under the light of our attention, so if fear is staring you down, try holding its gaze.