6. Motivation Is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More
Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.
many of the actions we take each day are shaped not by purposeful drive and choice but by the most obvious option.
Given that we are more dependent on vision than on any other sense, it should come as no surprise that visual cues are the greatest catalyst of our behavior. For this reason, a small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do.
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR ENVIRONMENT FOR SUCCESS
When the cues that spark a habit are subtle or hidden, they are easy to ignore.
If you want to make a habit a big part of your life, make the cue a big part of your environment. The most persistent behaviors usually have multiple cues.
Most people live in a world others have created for them.
THE CONTEXT IS THE CUE
Stop thinking about your environment as filled with objects. Start thinking about it as filled with relationships. Think in terms of how you interact with the spaces around you.
For one person, her couch is the place where she reads for an hour each night. For someone else, the couch is where he watches television and eats a bowl of ice cream.
- Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.
- Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out.
- Make the cues of good habits obvious in your environment.
- Gradually, your habits become associated not with a single trigger but with the entire context surrounding the behavior. The context becomes the cue.
- It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues.