Have you fallen into any fixed habits? I know I have. I have uttered some phrases so many times that they are often the first expressions that come to mind. Not surprisingly, I occasionally overuse them. It is also why I tend to buy the same brand of toothpaste year after year. No, I do not know which brand nine-out-of-ten dentists prefer. My brain just prefers not to think about toothpaste brands.
Do you greet customers or clients exactly as you did four years ago? Do you respond with almost the same words no matter what question your child asks? Do you welcome friends with the tired cliché you’ve always used? Do you view a sunrise with habitual jaded indifference? I began by asking if you’ve fallen into any fixed habits, but I already knew the answer. I don’t know exactly what they are, but I do know that you’ve got them.
How do I know? Well, because we all do it. Over the last decade much research has been done on human habits. For instance, a Duke University study concluded that habit rather than deliberation shapes over 40% of the decisions you and I make every day. Both Columbia University and the University of Alberta measured the vital role that habit plays in exercising. Massachusetts Institute of Technology identified how our brains convert repeated behaviors into habits thus reserving our real brain power for unpredictable circumstances.