Habit and Consciousness

I didn’t have a ton of time today, my boss was out visiting to spend some time in some of my best dealerships. That being said, I did listen to a TED Talk this morning which reminded me of a lesson I learned reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin some time ago.

In his TED Talk, psychiatrist Judson Brewer discusses a seemingly less complicated (As compared to the “typical” habit chain like the one discussed in Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit,” I’ll outline that book here soon) to break a bad habit or addiction. The answer? Consciousness. Brewer contends that in many cases, dedicating a ton of focus to the specific behavior you’re looking to quit, you’ll be able to break yourself of the habit. Brewer uses the most stereotypical example in smoking. By actively and consciously thinking about what she was doing when she smoked, one patient became so disgusted with the smell, the taste, etc… that she quit cold turkey; pretty cool I thought.

This relates to Franklin’s autobiography perfectly. I’ll have to go back through the book to remember the specific examples but during his lifetime, Franklin had a number of vices that he wished to break, I think one was cursing. In order to do this, Franklin carried around a small notepad and every time he cursed, he would place a small tally which corresponded with that specific day. Eventually, after consciously thinking about what he was doing, he began to curse less and less until he had broken himself of that habit entirely. I intend to purchase a small notepad in the near future. I think I’ll start with criticizing others or being negative towards them, I catch myself doing that far too often.

Workout – out the door at 515

  •  5 X 3 minute rounds jumping rope, a personal favorite
  • 6 X 3 minute rounds Running the M-Drill, I’ll make a diagram at some point
  • Yoga and stretching, about 10 minutes
  • 5 X 3 minute rounds boxing with some kicks thrown in
  • 1 Mile run – 8 minutes
  • 75 pushups
  • 150 situps
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