FutureSurfing

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Developing Helpful Habits

on March 25, 2014

growth

Olympic athletes, multi-millionaires, musicians and ‘ordinary’ people have discovered that, although there’s no permanent cure, it is possible to get ourselves off the couch and into action, sometimes with extraordinary results.

It’s all about developing our brain ‘muscles’.

Our brain tends to be good at basic stuff like ‘fight or flight’. Some brains are really good at solving mathematical equations or spelling long words, but these brain abilities don’t really help us manage ‘Life’.

What our brain needs training in is best described as ‘making things happen’. Let’s start with what our brain runs as ‘automatic’ first (a bit like the ‘Startup’ on your computer). These are the things we do regularly and don’t have to think about any more, like tying shoe laces and brushing our teeth. But when we were small we had to learn to do these things, and practice them until they became a habit.

Some of our habits are really cool and help us get organised and stay healthy. Try noting down some of your helpful habits.

But of course there’s at least as many habits that we develop that are not helpful. They’re not necessarily ‘bad’ but they can hold us back from achieving our dreams, or even from getting up in the morning! Many of these habits are ‘thinking’ rather than ‘doing’ habits, for more on this, read about your saboteur in future instalments.

Now try noting down some of your less helpful habits.

The good news is that we can always develop new habits. Its much easier for our brain to develop new habits than it is to change old ones, so don’t waste your energy trying to fix that list you just made of unhelpful habits, just start writing some new ones.

Note down some ‘New habits I want to develop…’

Quick Tip: keep this list fairly short. It’s a bit like planting seeds. Each seedling will need lots of ‘TLC’ (water, fertilizer, sunshine, repeated every day) in order to grow into an adult plant. It’s the same with habits. Better to write just one or two right now. Once they’re fully grown you can start with some more seeds. Oh, and if one or two don’t thrive, that’s fine, you can just ditch them and plant some more!

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