In the previous article the Chain of Habit , I mentioned that changing an existing habit is a learnable skill. It is actually a skill of NEW habit development. However, we cannot simply DELETE the existing habit from the brain and develop a new one from scratch. Instead, we should REPLACE the existing habit with a new one. That new habit should bring us a different RESULT, while at the same time, reward us with the same, or very similar, PRIZE.
You may be surprised, but when we desperately want something, we actually don’t want the result itself. Not the result, not the outcome and, in some cases, not even the goal itself.
We are desperately craving for FEELINGS, for emotions which are bought with the new result, amazing outcome, or, an achieved goal. Emotions of satisfaction and accomplishment, feelings of pride, victory and worthiness – this is what we are craving for (though not realizing that.)
The chart below looks very similar to the one in the Chain of Habit article. It shows which part of the chain has to be broken in order to develop a NEW habit, leaving us with a reward at the same time.
The truth is that the HINT and the PRIZE in this chart are feelings. They are the components of the emotional realm.
While ACTION and RESULT are the components of the physical realm.
Changing a physical outcome by trying to influence the emotional realm will never work, at least not long term. However, changing one physical realm’s component in order to influence another physical realm’s component is not only possible, but also much easier and could be done more successfully.
Therefore, the part of a chain of habit that should be broken to bring a new result is the ACTION.
To change an existing habit in order to get the desired RESULT, we have to perform an alternative set of actions. The kind of alternative actions which would still bring us the same reward, the PRIZE.
When we find a REPLACEMENT for a set of our routine actions, and start performing alternative ones, change is possible.