Want to create lasting change? Focus on THIS ... - THINKERS Notebook

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Want to create lasting change? Focus on THIS ...

This week I've been thinking a lot about habits. In almost every walk of life, our success or failure is determined by our habits. 

Good habits that are executed consistently layer positive impact upon positive impact, and over time we reap the compounding rewards of these positive impacts.

Bad habits have exactly the opposite impact. Maybe we can outrun or outmaneuver bad habits in the short term, but it's almost always a losing formula in the long run.

And the real kicker of bad habits is their opportunity cost: all of that potential compounding impact from the good habits lost, in addition to the negative impact of the bad habits.

A double whammy.

This is an important idea to consider with the new year rapidly approaching.

Many people -- certainly me, and perhaps you too -- approach the holiday season as a time for reflecting on the previous year's successes and failures, hits and misses, positives and negatives, with an eye toward being better in the new year.

This often leads to the declaration of resolutions or the setting of new goals. And while the spirit driving both may be admirable, the rationale turns out to be pretty flawed.

Because neither resolutions nor goals seem to work as well at driving significant changes as creating new habits. 

Keep that in mind as you consider how to be better in the new year. Or, if you don't want to wait that long, how to be better starting right now. ;-)

Now here are this week's links ... which you can apply to become a better thinker, or really to being better in any area of your life.

Habits > Goals

"A goal-oriented mind-set can create a “yo-yo” effect. Many runners work hard for months, but as soon as they cross the finish line, they stop training. The race is no longer there to motivate them. When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it? This is why many people find themselves reverting to their old habits after accomplishing a goal.

"The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.

"Fall In love with systems."

Read: Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead (James Clear)
Be proactive about building the habit of thinking. 

"Do you want to take your life to the next level? If you do, then one of the most important things you can do is building the thinking habit.

"Why is it important?

"Because the habit helps you live intentionally. Instead of just making default decisions, you will make thoughtful decisions. Instead of living on autopilot, you will live by design.​"

Read: How to Build the Thinking Habit (Life Optimizer)
Get in the habit of thinking with pen and paper.

"While technology has made us more productive ... it has absolutely NOT made us better at thinking.

"Sure, we can write out a document faster on a computer, but just because we use a computer does not mean our words and ideas are any better.

"In fact, a growing body of research suggests that using computers to write out notes actually inhibits our ability to learn what we're typing notes about.  

"What these studies have found is that those who write out their notes by hand have a stronger conceptual understanding of the topic, and are more successful in applying and integrating ideas, than those who take notes with their laptops.

"This is one reason why so many of our celebrated thinkers use pen and paper to write down their notes."

Read/Watch: Why Better Thinking Starts with Pen and Paper (THINKERS Workshop)

Quote of the week

"Habit is either the best of servants, or the worst of masters."

-- Nathanael Emmons
Jerod Morris
Chief Creative Thinker

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