We all use habits and reflexes throughout our daily lives. We take a behavior or a thought and we produce that behavior or thought over and over again.
But most people have no idea that this happens. Instead they focus so heavily on events that they miss the patterns they create. In effect they create powerful underlying reflexes that determine their life, yet they are distracted by the one-offs in life and they don’t even realize it. This leaves them feeling powerless when they have, in fact, incredible power to create the patterns that they choose.
What happens is that we have a sort of autopilot mode in us that drives us throughout our day. The more we let it take us where it wants, the more structured and strong it becomes. We become wired to keep making the same decisions over and over.
But then whenever we want to change, we come face-to-face with the force and might of this autopilot. We want to change something and suddenly feel an incredible push towards keeping things exactly the same.
In Giant Steps by Anthony Robbins, the author says, “The reason it’s often difficult to change a pattern, whether it be an emotional pattern or a behavioral one, is that it’s literally wired into you.”
He goes on to say, “Many of us, through overuse, have literally trained ourselves to fly off the handle or to worry ourselves sick or to feel insecure or to abuse alcohol or food. What positive reflexes could you strengthen through repetition in your body and in your emotions?”
Because we ultimately created these reflexes and patterns, we are the ones that can change them. We have to get in and rewire those reflexes to be something positive instead of negative.
Instead of feeling worry every time something bad happens at work, we can create a response that is much different. We can create the response of stopping to think through the situation to look for detail. We can push through and maintain the attitude that doing so will result in improvement. We can even look for ways to find the direct obstacle and focus all energy on removing it or getting around it.
See, we all have multiple options for every possible situation. But we often ignore those options and go with autopilot mode. Then when we decide to make a change, we run against this powerful force.
The systems and habits approach to improvement takes a different approach. Instead of battling this force with willpower and motivation, we start incredibly small and build new patterns, slowly over time.
This tricks the autopilot mode because instead of it resisting the changes you are trying to make it slowly accepts them as part of the process. It starts to incorporate them as the reflex.
Imagine what you can achieve if you start to look at life this way? Instead of constantly going to battle to try and change these powerful, ingrained aspects of our life, we take a subtle approach to slowly rewire the habits until they work for us and help us reach our goals. Everyone is able to do this but it takes a drastically different approach to improvement than what most people are used to.