The Power of Habit

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Most nights you could find me watching mindless Youtube videos. After I get back from the business of college life, I would get on my phone for 30 minutes before bed and watch whatever Youtube video that was recommended me for that night. The video would never be constructive either, just cheap entertainment. Most of the time, it would be hard to fall asleep since I was just staring at a screen for 30 minutes before bed. I didn't realize it then, but it was a habit that I unconsciously created.

We are all made up of our own habits. It's actually estimated that 40%-50% of what we do everyday is habitual. From brushing your teeth, to checking facebook when you're supposed to be doing homework, to the way you back out of your driveway: we are the sum of our habits.

So did I change the habit?

During my college years I read a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg where he talks about...well the power of habits. One day, after reading this specific quote below, I re-thought my Youtube habit, and a LOT of my habits because I knew the food I ate, the way I slept, and the thoughts I thunk all needed to change. Unhappiness for me means having all these ideas, dreams, and visions for the future but never doing the necessary actions today to get where I want to be tomorrow. If we wait until we feel like working out, journaling, or reading a book we will never form a consistent habit.

Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.
— Charles Duhigg

Healthy people have healthy habits. Since I wanted to be healthy, I decided to replace my phone with a book every night (The golden rule for habit change is that you can't get rid of a habit, all you can do is replace a habit). All of the sudden, I was reading inspiring books, not watching stupid Youtube videos, AND getting better sleep at the same time! In all honesty, I am, in part, the person I am today because of this bad habit turned good. 

If we want to create practical Good for ourselves, and those around us, we have to have healthy habits. Period. Where do you start? With your challenge this week! You start off small and build. 

Jake VaydaComment