Our primitive brain is more resilient than our prefrontal cortex, but it is a dumb repeater. If we do not increase our awareness of bad habits, our dumb repeater will continue doing what he has always done. We must confront our choices. Otherwise, our primitive brain will make the decision for us. Our reptilian brain is not only stupid; it is a sucker for instant gratification. Driven by basic animal instincts, it doesn’t have a five-year plan or even a five-minute plan. It doesn’t care about your goals. It seeks pleasure, whenever and wherever it can find it.
Pleasure and pain compel us. Every action is an effort to seek pleasure or avoid pain. When I was struggling to lose weight as a kid, I instinctively pinched my waist whenever I was tempted to eat some dessert. Because of this habit, I began associating dessert with a flabby body. Instead of associating it with pleasure, I began to associate it with the agony of being trapped in a soft body I was ashamed of. If we associate more pleasure with eating a cookie than having a lean physique, than we will eat the cookie. It really is that simple. We have to tip the scale in favor of good habits.
Our bodies are a product of our eating habits. Our fitness is a product of our exercise habits. Our wealth is a product of our saving habits. Our education is a product of our learning habits. You get the idea. We are all born equal, it is our habits that separate us. If we want to change our behavior, we must confront our choices. If you are overweight, is it your slow metabolism or the cookies you ate in the breakroom this morning. Is it your slow metabolism or the margarita you had with dinner last weekend? Excuses only sound good to the people giving them. Fortunately, you are going to learn how to get rid of the excuses and replace them with results. You are going to learn how to interrupt and replace bad habits with good ones.
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