Why Habits are Hard to Break, and the One Degree Shift – Part One
- We are 80% water
It may be hard to believe, but we are all approx 80% water. While we all seem far more “solid” than that, we are in fact mainly water! And, as JFK once observed, our blood has the same salinity, or salt content as sea water, as a throw back to our origins.
As an aside, it is a really good idea to assist brain function by remaining well hydrated, and the best way to do that is to drink as much pure water as possible daily.
- We are constantly renewing our cells – i.e. eyeballs every two days, and skeletons every 365 days
Latest research indicates that as we age, we renew our cells. In fact, the ageing process itself appears to be the result of “imperfect” cell renewal – i.e. when cells renew throughout our lifetime, they do not exactly replicate themselves, and this “non-exact” replication process itself manifest itself as ageing.
- Habits do not get “broken” until the full cycle has occurred – i.e. in one year
Ever tried to diet to lose weight? Stop smoking? Stop biting your fingernails? Some things seem to be beyond the limits of personal willpower. Part of the problem is that it takes a full cell renewal cycle (i.e. one year) for a habit to be truly broken. This is why our habits are hard to change, because we all want instant results, and one year seems like forever!
- This is why habits are so hard to break
Is it therefore a waste of time to break a habit? Absolutely not – rather, you need to be a little kind to yourself, and give yourself the time that it takes to truly break a habit. You will get there – it will just take longer than you really want it to.
- There is also the law of vacuum – i.e. get rid of a habit (good or bad), and something else will take its place
While on the subject of habits, it’s not just that they take a long time to break – it’s also that they do not leave a vacuum. The laws of nature simply will not allow a habit to disappear – rather than habit will be replaced by another habit, which will be a “good” or “bad” habit. Why is this? The easiest way to explain this is that, just like the law of cause and effect, we humans do not exist in a vacuum, and we are seldom in a static state – i.e. we are either improving, or deteriorating. There is an old Indian proverb which goes like this: A young warrior was troubled by his aggression, and so sought the counsel of the Chief of his tribe. The chief, when told of the warriors concerns said “do not be troubled. There is good and bad in all of us. This good and bad is like two wolf cubs, which are waiting to grow. The young warrior thought about what the chief said for many minutes, and then asked the chief “but which wolf cub is stronger, good or bad?” The chief answered “whichever one you feed”.