Thursday, January 26, 2006

Stop the Habit...

People adopt a philosophy. We are creatures of habit. We “paddle our own canoe”. The fact is people stick with something and never let go of it. We decide we will do something this way or “the highway”.

A habit is what we do to makes sense of our existence. In some cases, people will live and die by their beliefs, which is why I don’t understand those who use snap-on water bottles. What is the point? It is obvious that a screw-on/large-mouth water bottle is the way to go. You can put mixes in easier and they open with a twist – and twisting is cool. They are a little wider at the neck, so if you have gloves on you can grip it like a champ. And, the only water bottle that can take in ice is a large mouth water bottle. I own mostly large mouth water bottles. The other day I was stuck using the snap-on type. What a fool. I felt like a total idiot riding around with a snap-on water bottle. My friends in the group ride were sure to notice my lack of progressive thinking. I barely drank any water during my ride.

OK, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But, the sad thing is some people hold these belief patterns. Cyclists/athletes/everyone on the planet are funny that way. You’ve heard about the proverbial baseball player that never changes his socks before a game. The same hold true for me. Well, not the sock thing, but definitely the water bottle thing. So, what is it about habit or even luck that makes us so crazy? I think it is easier to understand than you might think.

For me “variety is the spice of life”; doing things differently makes sense. It opens up my mind and keeps me thinking. But, people get comfortable (yes, I’m guilty here, too). We sometimes forget to challenge ourselves. Using a snap-on water bottle wouldn’t kill me; it’s just that I’m not comfortable with them. However, I believe that the “whatever doesn’t kill us will make us stronger” type of person is the kind that will succeed. I’m referring to people who accept and love novelty. Science seems to have picked up on the idea, as well.

Things that are new, different, out-the-norm are what make us the happiest according to author of Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment, Gregory Burns. In the book, Burns claims that our brains are wired for adaptation. To make it short and sweet, our brains are “happiest” when we figure out there’s “more than one way to skin a cat”. It is with this information that I’ve decided to forgo many of my habits and jump into new ones. But, I wonder how many of you could even consider doing this? I’ve decided to run another poll on the matter.

On the right, you’ll see a polling system. I’ve listed some random habits. If you are guilty of one of these habitual issues, click on the answer to see where you stand with everyone else. If I’ve not listed something, please post a comment and let me know what you are willing to change…

2 comments:

Bintrim said...

What if you don't know you have this habit? Should I ask those around me about my habits? I think I have a habit of asking myself to many questions. I just used the word habit in every sentence... I see another habit forming here!!! I can't stop saying "HABIT"!!! Make it STOOOOOP!!!!

walkert said...

Good, let's get it out. It is OK to cry. Now, let's talk about your childhood...