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3 Cognitive Biases That Affect Our Decisions Every Day

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3 Cognitive Biases That Affect Our Decisions Every Day

Many people wonder how their life took a turn for better or worse. A person’s mentality often gets overlooked. There are several concepts including The Law of Attraction that people consider it being nothing more than fluff. As a society, we are faced with challenges that forms our cognitive biases. Those cognitive biases affect our everyday decisions. With those years of decisions, we start to have a better understanding about how our lives have become what they are today.

Here are three cognitive biases that affect our daily decisions:

1.  I Can’t Do That

“I spent the last 30 years of my life doing things that others can’t do or won’t do. [Many of my successes have been based on] people telling me that I couldn’t do something.

I was told that I couldn’t build a website development company. So, I built and designed websites for companies like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems,” says Chuck Blakeman (Serial Entrepreneur & Author of Making Money Is Killing Your Business).

Unfortunately, many people fall victim into believing that they can’t do something. Sadly, people are told such things from people that they admire. Like Chuck Blakeman, there are countless examples of people who have taken ideas and turn them into success stories. despite being in the midst of naysayers.

Your task is not to sulk in those beliefs but instead prove them wrong. Success is a journey that starts by taking one step at a time. In my younger years, I wanted to be an international bestselling author. It took me years to realize that I have to truly believe in something if I wanted to see it come to fruition.

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I had to first believe that it was possible to become an international bestselling author before becoming one. This year marks a significant milestone in my life, which is being a bestselling author in three countries.

2. I Don’t Need Anyone

“A lot of our happiness or unhappiness comes from the quality of our relationships. Human connection fuels happiness”, says Scott Crabtree (Founder & Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Brain Science).

There are a lot of people who carry around an ultra independent attitude. I personally admire someone who is independent. The problem is that independence can sometimes be used as an illusion for a person’s ego. Independence is obviously better than dependence. However, interdependence is better than both of them.

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There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Accepting the help of others will usually shorten the learning curve in anything you want to pursue in life. It does not make you any less independent. Stephen Covey (Author of the NY Times Bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) agrees that we function best when we recognize and works towards the role of interdependence.

None of us is perfect. We all have weaknesses. So, why not let someone who is strong in your weak areas to help you?

3. I Have No Purpose

“You have to decide your mission in your life. That’s your guide. What kind of impact do you want to have on the planet? Be very clear about it [because if your mission] is hazy, it will be very difficult”, says Aubrey Marcus (Founder & CEO of Onnit).

Many people can make different arguments about the origin of our nature. However, I think the overwhelming majority of us share the same theme on life: You only live once. So, make the most of it. I hope you are moving with the time because it will continue to move with or without you.

Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey are two examples of inspirational role models who left a legacy for us. My goal is to leave a legacy too. Since the Great Recession, I have helped over 2,000 people reach the finish line and you can too. My message is still the same.

Success is unavailable to the majority because the majority are unavailable.

Featured photo credit: Olichel via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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