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June 20, 2007


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Fantastic. This is going to be a meme. I need until Friday to finish my research. I will be approaching it from another direction.

"Is it worth trying to change?"
Fantastic stuff!

You should join us at http://www.CompanyLoop.com, we are putting something special together. Email me for more info.


Thanks for such a well argued article on habits, I could not agree more. It's so easy to get swept away with simplistic pop psychology - your perspective on this topic is a lot more realistic .

Ariane Benefit

Stephen & Rob,

Thanks for your comments! I've got another post brewing too! : )


My follow-up is finally ready, check it out.


Fabulous post! While I believe that you can change virtually everything about yourself, there are some things that you just don't want to change given the amount of effort that it takes for the value you receive. I've heard this concept called Return on Energy (ROE).

It seems more beneficial to focus on your strengths than to shore up a weakness that is irrelevant to your success. Like your example of using a paper planner (like the Bubble Planner), some people have a very difficult time keeping track of things on their computer. Out of sight, out of mind is true for many. I think there is also a feeling of losing control that accompanies some computer applications.

Ariane Benefit

Thanks so much for stopping by Bill! I love your concept of ROE! A perfect way to describe the point I was trying to make. And I agree that focusing on building on strengths is more useful than working on irrelevant weaknesses. Your Bubble Planner is a very creative solution for an underserved population!

Michael@ Awareness * Connection

I love seeing stuff on myth busting in this genre. There are enough unsupported claims that catch on out there to fill a couple dozen large dumpsters to the point their lids can't close completely. One interesting angle on this that is very much supported by volumes of research in social and cognitive psych is the fact that when we are working to form habits, we initially are working against all sorts of automatic non-conscious processes. There is an example here:
http://www.gtdtimes.com/2008/08/04/this-is-your-elephant-on-gtd-any-questions/ using the metaphor of a rider on an elephant. The elephant is the unconscious, automatic part. The puny rider represents our conscious part, the part that intends to form the new habit. This image help people to capture just why it is that we so often have every intention of forming a healthy new habit, but are puzzled when we don't follow thru...because we don't realize there is an elephant involved that is going to need some training. And often a lot more than 21 days of training.

Again, thanks for the myth busting theme.

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