See, Do, Feel, Repeat
This is why I love TED… It gives me inspirational information helping me to understand others and myself more fully. Sometimes the information chips away at the hard shell that can surround us, revealing the ‘being’ within. Much like a sculptor, removes stone to reveal the form within.
I would offer and hope that ‘Breaking Negative Habits’ will become one of those TED talks, destined to be among the greats. Its explanation of how habits form in us, and how to disrupt them if they are having a negative impact is brilliant. In a nutshell here's the bones, to mix my metaphors.
See, do, feel, repeat… It’s a primal brain thing. That’s the evolutionary cycle that, in major part, appears to be responsible for our continued success as a species… it’s how we learn. e.g... We see chocolate cake, we eat/don’t eat chocolate cake, we feel whatever we feel about chocolate cake and we repeat it, the next time we encounter chocolate cake, and voila! a pattern is born!!
NB for chocolate cake, you can replace it with anything physical, emotional, or intellectual… IE cigarettes, fear, God etc.
The research suggests that once we understand the cycle, once we are conscious and awake to ourselves and how we ‘work’, if we have the strength of will, we can replace the ‘do’ part with a ‘witness position’. That means when we see the ‘chocolate cake’, we need to replace the ‘do’ part of the cycle with an attitude. The attitude now becomes the ‘doing’ part of the pattern. It’s suggested that attitude should specifically be “curiosity”, and I get that.
Think about what you feel when you are truly curious about something. In me, curiosity triggers a good feeling; a positive experience, it energises me. The next time I put an extra slice of bread in the toaster for breakfast, I'm going to remember to be curious as to why I did it... and then put the slice back in the bread bin. I guess the next stage would be to be curious about why I have a bread bin at all... and then bin the bin, so to speak. If I can self-generate energy, whether that be physical, emotional, intellectual energy, or even a combination of all three, I can then learn to maintain it. I can allow it to distance me from the behaviour pattern I’m trying to disrupt. I’m training and developing my ability to hold and focus a 'conscious intention', the fourth and final part of our 4 dimensional selves, after the physical, emotional and intellectual selves, so that I’m able to consciously create the impact I choose.
Like most good things, it can be easier said than done, but I try. Every time I see, hear and feel a TED presentation that stimulates me, it removes another fragment of my personal shell, allowing in a little more light. The trick is not allowing those chinks of light to dim before they deliver their benefit to me and vicariously to those with whom I work.
Blog by Anthony Etherton - First appeared on LinkedIn