Right after reading BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits, I read a fantastic book called The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb.
It’s all about “Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.”
It was another one of the books frequently recommended by our Optimize community. It was awesome. (One more time: Thanks for all the recs! Keep them coming, please! 🤓)
Today I want to connect one of the Big Ideas from The Upward Spiral to Tiny Habits.
(If you haven’t noticed, I L O V E (!!!) seeing all the parallel wisdom in all the books we cover. I like to imagine a spider making a beautiful web, with each overlapping thread supporting the one before…)
First, let’s remind ourselves of the three primary variables in BJ Fogg’s Behavior MAP: “A behavior happens when the three elements of MAP—Motivation, Ability, and Prompt—come together at the same moment. Motivation is your desire to do the behavior. Ability is your capacity to do the behavior. And prompt is your cue to do the behavior.”
Now, know this: “You can disrupt a behavior you don’t want by removing the prompt. This isn’t always easy, but removing the prompt is your best first move to stop a behavior from happening.”
He also tells us: “Prompts are the invisible drivers of our lives.”
And: “No behavior happens without a prompt.”
Thank you, Professor Fogg.
What does Professor Korb have to say?
Well, first, know that he calls a “Prompt” a “trigger.” (We can also follow James Clear and Charles Duhigg and call it a “cue” if we want.)
He tells us: “Figure out your triggers. It is much easier to avoid temptation than to resist it. If you know what triggers a particular habit, sometimes you can get rid of that habit simply by removing the trigger from your life.”
What bad habit do you want to get rid of?
No big deal. No shame.
Remember: WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN KRYPTONITES.
Approach it like a curious scientist. As BJ says: “Once you remove any hint of judgment, your behavior becomes a science experiment. A sense of exploration and discovery is a prerequisite to success, not just an added bonus.”
Got that bad habit in mind?
What’s the TRIGGER for that bad habit?
Let’s figure it out.
And remove it.
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