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Archive for the ‘Samskara’ Category

“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

I’m reading a book, “The Power of Habits” by Charles Duhigg, that was a special “pre-release” to the attendees of Science Online 2012 .

The interesting thing about habits is that they are unchangeable for most of us.  I have many many habits, and over the years I’ve lost some destructive ones with some simple techniques, and I’ve ADDED some fantastic new ones.  These changes were difficult, and required a lot of trial and error on my part.

In Charles Duhigg’s book, he distills down my trial and errors to very a very simple equation Trigger/cu3–> Perform Habit –> Reap Reward.

A powerful and often reliable habit changer: Alcoholics Anonymous plus a couple of other stories.  Belief and community help people to make powerful changes in their lives.

The most interesting thing I’m finding as I read this book is that lasting change happens for people when they believe in something bigger than themselves.  Duhigg points to a couple of great examples…one of which is people who’ve successfully quit drinking thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous.  In these people a combination of community and belief come thru for them and replace their habit of drinking alcohol to alleviate their stress/pain/ suffering.

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What are your patterns?

Do you have a system for making sure you get important work done?

Ever feel like you keep repeating the same mistakes?

Yogis recognized this human tendency for patterns thousands of years ago, and named it “samskara”.

Samskaras refer to the thousands of mental or mind “patterns” that we consistently repeat, and can be healthy, unhealthy, or just a neutral habit that you have.

For instance, washing the dishes after a meal or at the end of the day can be a healthy samskara…or a pattern.  You see the dirty dishes, and clean them.

Then there are samskaras that you’d be better off without. I’m currently trying to implement a “wash dirty dishes as they happen” policy for myself, as opposed to my existing samskara, which is to ignore dirty dishes until I can’t quite get to the sink.

Can you identify some of your “samskaras”?  Try for 2 positive ones for each negative one.

6 positive samskaras of Kristy’s

  1. I meditate each morning when i get up.
  2. I text people fun things when i think about them.
  3. I hug people I love really close.
  4. I try to identify more positives than negatives in situations.
  5. I have a ton of creative ideas for businesses and for going on dates. (Seriously, call me if you want to impress a date around St. Louis.)
  6. I can’t help but dance when someone says “Get up offa that thing”.

3 undesirable samskaras Kristy has.

  1. I deflect positive feedback and comments from other people
  2. I eat heavy food late at night
  3. I curse like a sailor when facing a difficult work problem.

Share yours with me!  I can’t wait to hear them…but the rule is 2 positive for 1 negative.