why nothing on this blog works; unless you have this one habit

May 14, 2014

by william choukeir

…and not just on this blog. i’m also referring to all advice, self-help blogs, books, and anything remotely related to personal and professional development.

let me explain through a story.

jake is the co-founder of vimeo. after selling vimeo, he found himself unproductive and unhappy. throughout the next year or so, he came up with a simple system that has helped him re-find his productivity and happiness. he posted this system online and called it ‘standards‘.

like most systems out there, if you try using ‘standards’, it’ll likely not work for you; unless you have this one habit. here’s why.

‘standards’ is a simple list of things you want to do (or avoid) daily. each day, you mark with a check the items you succeeded with, and with a cross those you failed at.

jake tried it the first week and failed. he tried it the second week and failed a little less. after a few months, he was accomplishing everything on his list on most days. his life started turning around.

jake had, whether knowingly or not, acquired a valuable habit that allowed him to make his system work for him. through my two years of research and experimentation with habits, i’ve come to the realization that this one habit is the father of all habits. it’s the habit that breeds habits. and habits, in my experience, are the most efficient tool to create the life you want for yourself.

this habit isn’t perseverance. it isn’t grit either.

if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing,
you’ll keep on getting what you’ve been getting.

you need to change something, not just persevere. let’s call this habit: ‘the habit of planning for banana peels.’

you’re walking happily. suddenly you feel lifted off the ground and are falling back in slow motion. before your ass hits the ground you realize you’ve slipped on a banana peel.

an expectation of yours is unmet—banana peel.
you try some advice and fail—banana peel.
you loose a project—banana peel.
your client refuses a design—banana peel.

‘the habit of planning for banana peels’ looks like this.
every time you slip, you ask—and answer—two questions:
1• how will i respond the next time i slip?
2• what can i do differently to avoid slipping next time?

with this core habit, even if you try some advice and it doesn’t work the first time, you’ll automatically choose what’ll you do differently next time.

if you don’t already have this core habit, then even this article won’t help you acquire it; without you getting some pre-requisites. these pre-requisites can be in the form of skills, habits, or knowledge (i.e. awareness of your thoughts and emotions.)

if you eventually do succeed at building ‘the habit of planning for banana peels’, maybe then, you’ll be able to make some of the valuable advice that’s out there (or here) work for you.

now you’re aware. the rest is up to you.


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One Response to “why nothing on this blog works; unless you have this one habit”

  1. .

    tnx for info….

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