Do you think you have good habits? What about your thinking patterns? I bet when I said “habits” you weren’t thinking about your thinking—and isn’t that the most important habit of all?
I recently read Charles DuHigg’s book called (appropriately) Habit: Why We Do What Do In Life And Business. The basic premise is that habits rule our lives. Habits can make our life what we want it to be. That’s really just a broad overview of everything in the book, but it serves the purpose for what I want to share today.
Duhigg is talking about physical habits—what we do, how we act and react and when we do things. I want to shift that a little bit in connection with a section of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Your Erroneous Zones. The message here is that not only can you change your physical patterns, you can change your thinking too!
“It’s not easy to think in new ways. You are accustomed to a certain set of thoughts and the debilitating thoughts that follow.”
And since everything follows your thoughts, thinking and thoughts are the first area we should prioritize when considering personal development, don’t you think? It may be a challenge, but that is certainly no reason to avoid doing it.
He gives us three steps to follow to make the change occur:
STEP 1 – AWARENESS. You have to become cognizant of your thinking and adjust it so that it suits your purpose and builds success and happiness. That means to eliminate the negativity putting yourself and things around you down. Disrupt the pattern. Create new habits of thinking and more positive mental patterns.
STEP 2 – PRACTICE. Think about this: You already developed the patterns and habits you have over thousands of hours and, probably, thousands of days. You can’t change them instantly. It reminds me of a comment I heard recently: Belly fat doesn’t show up overnight, why do you expect it to leave that way? Just like losing weight takes commitment, practice, and perseverance, so will losing your bad mental habits.
STEP 3 – BELIEVE. Perhaps you’re skeptical. Think back to learning to ride a bike. Once you sort of accomplished it, all of a sudden you started to believe you could and then, after a few successful attempts, you knew you could.
Dyer talks about achieving happiness. But when you step back, you can see that this “change of mental habit” can be used in all aspects of life and even business, which is why I am sharing it with you.
Applying the Idea in Context
Change your habit or routine way of thinking to change your business and life. You have heard things like this before, I know. Theory and concept are both great, but I like true application.
Imagine you are going to the dentist, and you know you have a cavity. Picture the drill. You can hear it in your head and you can feel that churning in your stomach. After all, you have been taught that going to the dentist is a nasty experience, and one that is associated with pain. You dread it. You always have and you probably always will, right?
Well, maybe not.
Dyer states that reactions are learned, which means you can change them. You could make the whole experience work for you instead by choosing to make it a pleasant, exciting procedure. You could, if you really decided to use your brain, make the drill signal a beautiful experience you have had. You could think something different about what you used to call pain and choose to feel something new and pleasurable.
Imagine if you could use that same process to adjust your thinking about everything. Imagine what would be possible if we used more of our brains, and made it a habit to use more. What kind of a business would you have, besides exceedingly successful? Take some time and think about what that could mean for you and everyone around you.
Change your habits and change your life!