“I think human beings are entirely creatures of habit. Young children are born with no habit loops. They’re essentially born as blank slates. Then they habituate themselves to things and they learn patterns and they get conditioned and they use that to get through everyday life. Habits are good. Habits can allow you to background process certain things so that your neocortex, your frontal lobe, stays available to solve brand new problems.
We also unconsciously pick up habits in the background and we keep them for decades. We may not realize that they’re bad for us until we’re ready to move on them. To some extent, our attitude in life, our mood, our happiness levels, depression levels, these are also habits. Do we judge people? How often do we eat? What kind of food do we eat? Do we walk or do we sit? Do we move? Do we exercise? Do we read? These are habits as well.
You absolutely need habits to function. You cannot solve every problem in life as if it is the first time it’s thrown at you. What we do is we accumulate all these habits. We put them in the bundle of identity, ego, ourselves, and then we get attached to that. I’m Shane. This is the way I am. I’m Naval. This is the way I am. It’s really important to be able to uncondition yourself, to be able to take your habits apart and say, “Oh, okay, that’s a habit that I probably picked up from when I was a toddler and I was trying to get my parents attention. Now I’ve just reinforced it and reinforced it and reinforced it and I call it a part of my identity. Is it serving me anymore? Is it making me happier? Is it making me healthier? Is it making me accomplish whatever I want to set out to accomplish right now?”
In fact, I would argue, I’m less habitual than most people. I don’t like to structure my day. To the extent that I do have habits, I’m trying to make them more deliberate rather than accidents of history.”
Bovenstaand fragment komt uit een uiterst interessant interview tussen Shane Parrish en Naval Ravikant op Farnam Street Blog. Het volledige transcript van het interview vind je hier en hier kan je het interview beluisteren via podcast.