“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
— George Bernard Shaw
Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.
The Bargains of Undesirable Habit Chains
I have been playing a lot of chess for the past six months or so. Lately, however, focus on the game has decreased overall. The reason is simple: I broke an undesirable habit chain. I started putting my phone on the desk (like I used to!) to fix my sleep cycle instead of charging it right beside my bed. The latter is a recipe for disaster, of course. My sleep cycle and schedule are now back to perfection.
There is one tiny loss, though. I’ve been playing way fewer games of chess now. I realised that hidden within the pattern of me lying in bed and using my phone was a beautiful perk of me firing up chess games late at night. Since I don’t have the phone around me anymore, I also lost that habit.
This made me think about habit chains from a different perspective. We often only talk about adding great habits on top of one another or how undesirable ones tend to be a long chain. Yet, that is often far from the truth. Your life and days are far more nuanced.
For example, my morning routine has a lot of good in it but a pre-workout drink loaded with 300mg of caffeine was probably unnecessary since I have managed my workouts just as well without it. If you look closely, you’ll find you are in a similar situation as well.
Habits (and chains of habits specifically) are like yin and yang. There is always going to be some good in the bad and vice versa. The question to ponder over is not what habits to stack. Instead, ask yourself what habits are you willing to let go of?
What’s On My Mind?
A change in the environment often helps you look at things from a fresh perspective. You don’t need to travel to some exotic location or plan a grand escape. You need just enough change to give yourself space to look at things differently or think a bit differently. Even visiting family in another city is a wonderful way to get the gears going on things you were probably stuck on.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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