Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Highly Specific Rituals

I was perusing the Harvard Business Review blog site and came across the Why Don't We Act in Our Own Best Interest? post by Tony Schwartz. This should sound familiar to us in that we often hear the phrase that we are our own worst enemies.

Schwartz's answer to the question that he poses is "The most basic answer is that we don't make a connection between our current behavior and its future consequences."

Schwartz's remedy? "It's to rely more on our pre-frontal cortex, which allows humans alone to imagine the future consequences of our actions. Too often, instead, we use our pre-frontal cortex after the fact, to rationalize and minimize our short-term and ultimately self-defeating behaviors." While I agree, the problem here is literally easier said than done. So, what things can we do that reminds us to use our pre-frontal cortex and not the amygdala?

"Our own work at The Energy Project focuses on helping individuals and organizations institute highly specific rituals — behaviors and practices that eventually become automatic and serve sustainable well-being and effectiveness. We can learn to be far more conscious and intentional in our behavior, and less self-centered and short-term in our perspective. Doing so requires deliberate practice."

Again, I agree whole heartily. But isn't the trick here to not give in to the lizard brain and procrastinate on those "highly specific rituals?"

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