Here is an interesting guest post by a good friend of Project Swole. He wishes to remain mostly nameless (aside from mentioning his name is Andy), but trust in me he is smart and experienced, and I think this piece will really connect with most Swole readers.
“It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.”
“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”
“You ask a glass of water.”
– Douglas Adams, British author, and humorist
Human beings like habits, as a rule. It’s like that old phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, if we do something, and it works out ok, we’ll do it again.
Good or bad, habits allow us to predict the future – if I do this (exactly as I did yesterday), I know what will happen. Habits equal proven outcomes. Get on this train at this time in the morning, and I’ll be at work on time.
And if those habits are linked to a reward of some description, anything from a hit of dopamine in the brain by achieving a specific goal or, heaven forbid, one of a human being’s primary rewards – either food or sex, we’ll be back same time tomorrow, guaranteed, with our plate in our hand, as it were.
Habits provide routine, and for us, routinely provides security.
Unfortunately for us, some habits don’t sit well with others, and the rewards each brings actually off-set against one another, which kind of defeats the object. Take, for example, the diabetic cake-shop owner. You get my point. In fact, like the rest of our existence, it’s all just one big juggling act, seeing what works, what doesn’t, what affects something else, and so on, and hoping for a happy medium somewhere along the line. (more…)