PROFEESOR M. DOHERTY
21 FEBRUARY 2017
Irrespective of age many of us are addicted to this
smart generations and its inventions. Especially, the advancement in the
technology made our lives simple to the simplest, With the result of smart
devices and social media. It’s truly amazing connecting people from one part of
the world to other but, it also drove us to cultivate new habits. where I lost my
sleep cycle and I could not recognize it for a long time. As the author Charles duhigg of the book, The power of habit says that “Most people’s habits have occurred for a long time they don’t pay attention to what causes it anymore” 75. Well! After going through the theories on habits by Duhigg, I was running through a habit of sleeping late at night for the reward – to stay connect with my friends for a long time (I usually don’t like miss anyone in my life whom I met and very close to me) by chatting with them for many hours, to suppress my
cue to spend much time with friends who are located far away from me. This cue and reward made me develop a routine of chatting every day at least with one of my friends After knowing the key to change this habit by Golden rule I revised my timings by choosing a fixed time to chat and determined to get bed early. To make my determination to stay stronger I added alternate routine Where, belief played an important role all through the process.
Among the theories of Duhigg on habits, it is essential to
design our own habit loop which is a three-step loop consisting of a CUE a
trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use or
“it offers the hint as which pattern to use” 19. Then there is ROUTINE which
can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps
our brain to figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.
When this process of cue, routine and reward continuous over time of practice it
eventually becomes a habit due to craving. Recognizing habit loop for any habit
is so important that it helps to reveal the truth for what, why and how we are
practicing until it becomes a part of our life. Which, I can relate my habit of
getting up late in the morning. My reward of doing this is, having fun all the time the chatting and get the pleasure of responding to the messages for the only cue to stay in contact with them so that I can never lose them by following a routine to stay awake at night (due to difference in the time zones – 12 and half hours). This process of sleeping late had become a routine and within months it is a habit now.
I tried to sleep soon as my teachers used to warn me for being late which made me feel embarrassing in front of my friends at class. But, unintentionally my hands approach my phone to chat at nights. As said by Duhigg, “cravings are what drive habits”, I remember of hiding my phone during nights but as soon as I hear the notification with alert tone, I again begin to chat. And this would last longer. My craving to chat longer and longer grew so up intense that I could not sleep at night with texting at least with one of my friend. My brain began to anticipate the reward of attending everyone’s message. I realized my craving of chatting with friends everyday was too bad that if, I don’t receive a single message from any one, I used to wait all night in the expectation of a message. If I do not get one I get disappointment for waiting so long. My emotions are as same as Julio (monkey) which did not receive the juice(reward) after pulling the lever. Gradually, I realized that, I should change my routine by keeping the same Cue and reward – The GOLDEN RULE OF HABIT CHANGE. “if you use the same cue and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit.” 62. Almost any behavior can be change if the cue and reward stay the same. Likewise, I limited myself to chat with friends at fixed timings, weekends and then turned on silent mode and set my alarm to wake up early in the morning. First week was very difficult to practice this new routine but, Belief played a key role to continue this new routine until it replaces my old routine. “Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior” 85.
Today, a girl who never sleeps until she gets the pleasure of responding to every single message has realized that, being punctual to school is important for a successful student and changed the habit of sleeping late to sleeping early. With the inspiration of well-known proverb “Early to bed, Early to rise makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise” by Benjamin Franklin. By this habit change, today I am able to wake up early in the morning and start my day pleasantly with a warm GOOD MORNING at school by my teachers instead of questioning – Why are late today?