The Power of Habit

842 Words Sep 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
First off, we are creatures. We are animals. We're very sophisticated and good-looking and all that, but let's never forget that we're made of flesh and blood. In particular, our brains are incredibly complex evolved machines. Our brains govern basic processes such as breathing and food intake, and also enable us to appreciate the finer points of John Cleese's performances in Fawlty Towers.
As creatures, we have needs. We need to eat, and so we eat. As rather intelligent and social creatures, we like to chat with one another, and so we do. We take turns and finish our conversations gracefully. And there are dozens and dozens more behaviors that are just as complicated, if not more so. How on Earth do we get all of this done?
That's where
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No writer feels like he is writing enough. We all watch too much television, spend too much time on Facebook, or waste our writing time doing other things. For beginning writers, the problem is especially acute. With no editor giving a deadline, no fans clamoring for the next installment, and no writing income, there is literally no incentive to write–at least not consistently. Beginners might write when they are “inspired,” but with so many other things pulling them away from the writing desk, how can they stick with it for the months and years it takes to carve out a writing career?
On the other hand, most professional writers write every day. Not because they are inspired more often, not because they have more free time, and not because they are neglecting other parts of their lives. Pros write every day for one simple yet powerful reason. They’ve made it a habit.
We tend to think of habits as bad (smoking, cussing, biting your fingernails) but they can also be good (walking the dog, oatmeal for breakfast, a weekly date with your spouse). THE POWER OF HABIT shows how easily habits form. They rely on three simple things–a cue, a routine, and a reward–and don’t take long to stick. Our brains love habits. They allow us to be efficient. They help us do things like drive a car without constant self-monitoring. Once we learn where the brake pedal is and how hard to press the…

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