Habits have a purpose. They save the brain from extra work, which frees up glucose to be used to fuel higher brain functions, such as planning, decision-making, creativity, innovation, the pursuit of goals/dreams and many other things.
Habits are the byproduct of advanced human evolution. They are, in a very real sense, one of the primary reasons humans are at the top of the food chain.
By isolating certain repetitive functions to a very small, almost fractional area, the brain freed itself to expand and perform higher level functions. This expansion gave birth to tool-making, then speech and finally cooperation – humans working together for a single purpose.
Physiologically, habits are a series of interconnected neural pathways, connected along the neural fibers underneath the neocortex, to a central neural hub inside the Basal Ganglia. The moment a neural pathway becomes linked to the Basal Ganglia, it is magically transformed by the brain into a permanent habit.
According to a famous London study performed on 89 people, this process can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days, depending on the complexity of the behavior forming the habit. The more complex the behavior, such as washing your face verses swinging a golf club, the more time it takes for the habit to form.
In another study on habits (Duke University in 2006) it was determined that an average of 40% of all daily human activities are habits. Your daily habits unconsciously control your life. Habits, as boring as they may be, are the secret to success, failure or mediocrity.
Our behaviors, the choices we make, our thinking and our habits create wealth or poverty. Those who were fortunate enough to learn good daily habits from their parents or a mentor, get a head start and this allows them to excel in life.
Others learn good daily habits through the school of hard knocks, pivot into those habits and excel in life.
Those who have forged good daily habits have outstanding lives. They command respect, make most of the money in this world, and control the lives of the millions who have bad habits.
Thanks to my Rich Habits research, I can say unequivocally that your daily habits create your financial circumstances. They are the reason you live in a beach house or a slum.
Your daily habits are the reason you make millions of dollars a year or eke out a living, living paycheck to paycheck.
Your daily habits are the reason you are happy or unhappy.
Your daily habits are the reason your children go to the best colleges or struggle to graduate from high school.
The blueprint of your life and the lives of your children are determined by your daily habits.
That’s how important habits are. If you want to change your life you must change your daily habits.