#8 - 3 Keys to Life (Part 3/3) - Habits

Habits and routines are critical components to managing stress and finding fulfillment.

Your habits determine who you are and who you will become. We are the collective sum of our actions, and our actions are determined by our habits.

The person who has sparkly white teeth wasn’t born with a miraculous white-teeth gene. They built habits that enable them to keep their teeth white.

The girl who can run a 5 minute mile didn’t get there naturally. She built a running habit that enabled her to train to that point.

I wasn’t born with the ability to skillfully navigate the stresses of life, nor was I born with the ability to cultivate the emotions I wanted. I had to train my brain for 7 years to learn these skills.

Whether it’s the big biceps, the 5 minute mile, or the ability to skillfully manage your stress that you desire, one thing is certain: you can use habits to get to where you want to be more quickly.

Let’s stay on the topic of navigating stress. It’s something everyone faces, but few people are proactive in their approach to it. Most people are reactive. Being proactive is better, because it enables you to have more control.

How can I be proactive in managing my stress?

The key to being proactive in managing your stress is to establish daily routines that strengthen your mind.

The best way to do this is to start your morning with something that gives your mind a proactive start to managing your stress.

The two categories I recommend you insert into your mornings are meditation and exercise. Even if it’s just for a short amount of time, these habits will give you a feeling of accomplishment and control that you can carry throughout the rest of your day.

I’ll leave it up to you to determine what your routine could look like, but I will give one piece of advice: start small. If you don’t currently have a routine, come up with one that’s no longer than a few minutes for starters. You want to make it something that can stick.

If you go from no routine to trying to implement a 2 hour routine, it’s highly unlikely to stick. So again, start small.

In starting, the most important thing to recognize is that you can use your brains psychology to make your habits stick more easily. I learned this in the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

The knowledge in this book changed my life. Understanding the psychology of habits unlocked the keys to making habits stick.

Once you have the power to create whatever habits you want, life becomes an open book where you can take constant and targeted action to achieve whatever goals you want through consistent daily action.

The most important thing to know is that habits have 3 components: a cue, an action, and a reward. Tomorrow I’ll talk more about these components, and how you can use them to create the habits you desire.

In the meantime, I invite you to start to ponder what kinds of habits you’d like to have.

An easy way to do this is to think about areas of your life that are challenging for you right now. Areas that you’d like to make an improvement in. Whether it’s work, relationships, or stress management, habits will play a huge part in overcoming your challenges.

Get excited. You’ll soon be on your way to building habits that lead to whatever outcomes you desire.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

I’ll see you tomorrow.