Two recent reads: Atomic Habits and Willpower Doesn’t Work.
What I got from them…
Drive all knowledge inwards. This is a very old lesson. For best results, apply teachings on yourself first => do this for a very, very long time.
Many of the changes I have made (in the last five years) are in anticipation of being surrounded by high-energy teenagers and the conversations we are going to be having years from now.
When you are making positive changes, expect the people around you to get uncomfortable and test you. Don’t be surprised if the people closest to you start to bring up the errors of your past. When that happens I smile to myself, “They clearly have nothing recent to use. I’m making progress!”
Pay attention to the “why.” Many of us desire improved habits to cram more into our lives. More money, more beauty, more external success… chances are you have enough already.
Whenever I want to make a significant change in my life, I must create space, and mental bandwidth, to step outside my existing habits.
With three kids, some of the most valuable time in my life feels a lot like “empty” space, or even “wasted” space. I see the folly of this thinking by inverting and asking, “What does stress feel like?” => rushed, crowded, busy
What choices, am I repeating that, create stress? Social media, high-conflict people, cable news, an inability to say “no”…
What choice might create space?
What one thing, if it happened, could change everything?
Happiness is the gap between cravings. This gem is inside Atomic Habits. If you write a lot then sometimes you’ll spit out a deep truth.
Self-help doesn’t work because it teaches techniques we use to reinforce our cravings.
- How well do I know my cravings?
- Where are they likely to take me?
- What are the choices that reduce my cravings?
Using the techniques in the books to guide, or replace, cravings… very useful.
Understanding what’s driving my attraction to technology, social media… great stuff.
One example from my own life => connection and approval => I can get this, at a much deeper level, from a child than from Facebook.
Widen the space between cravings => improved feelings of wellbeing
Use the books to cram more into my life => probably a reduction in space and reinforcement of cravings => no improvement in wellbeing
Pay attention to what works.
- One win early
- Being slightly under-scheduled
Radical change might not be required.