Habits are Life Operating Systems

Our habits are the automatic ways we operate our daily lives. These are often deeply ingrained in us and dictate our default settings. Each one though is enabled by four components – Cue, Craving, Response and Reward. The cue triggers a craving that then prompts a response that provides a reward that satisfies a craving. It is this habit loop that pretty much shapes our behaviours.

If we break down our behaviours and habits, we get to see that these are guided by the systems of our lives. We have our own operating system that dictate how our day flows. It is the scaffolding that structures the way we carry out our everyday actions. Given how important this framework is, we are called to take a look at how this foundation may be further strengthened.

It seems like such a a huge undertaking to do so. But it is possible if we apply tiny tweaks in any of the four components of habit. We can endeavor to make the cues invisible, make the craving less attractive, make the action hard to do and make the rewards unsatisfying. It starts with trying to be more aware of our actions to understand what prompts them. This is an ongoing theme that I will continue to reflect and ponder on.

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