A mental model for habits & self-actualization
by Patricia Mou
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (8 min. read time)
“discipline is something you do, and choose to do; motivation is a thing that can come and go, which you cannot choose to do or control.” — Patricia Mou
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, stick it out for 2 months (at least):
- It takes 21 days for a new habit to form
- 66 days for that behavior to become automatic
“Fear & Resistance. A rule of thumb: The more scared you are of a work or a calling, the more sure you can be that you have to do it. The more important the accomplishment is to the evolution of your soul, the more resistance you will experience facing it.” — Patricia Mou
Too many productivity tools / too much research: “It feels really good to research the best products, tools, and tactics. And they are helpful to a certain extent. But ultimately it is taking away time from you actually doing the work. Begin. And figure it out along the way.” — Patricia Mou
In wake of too many lives lost from the pandemic, “We owe it to those who have left us prematurely, to make the best use of our time today. Faced with our imminent extinction at any possible moment, how would you change your goals? How does your zest recalibrate?” — Patricia Mou
“Sometimes when we are feeling down and unmotivated, the best thing we can do to change our mental state is to change our physical state. If I’m down or in a rut, I force myself to move my body, even if only a little bit. This helps shift my perspective and resets my operating system—and more often than not, I’ll feel better.” — Patricia Mou
“Mood follows action. What we do, is what we are,” says Patricia.
“As our disciplined actions turn into habits with the balm of dopamine, their summation become our identity…Habits fuel identity in our quest of self-actualization – to not just shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” — Patricia Mou
My two cents: Patricia references Jame Clear’s “Atomic Habits” when she talks about how our habits work together to fuel our identities. This is by far one of the most eye-opening framings to come across. Our actions (specifically, each individual one) contributes a single point in whatever identity bucket we’re trying to fill. For example, you could want to run more in 2021. Each time you go on a run, you’re self-actualizing your identity as a runner. The more you run, the more you’re a runner.
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