So I recently read: Atomic Habits by James Clear

neon sign saying change

I want to talk about some people I am jealous of. And that’s because I know they are faking it but still doing it successfully. I am talking about self-proclaimed Life Coaches, Mentors, Public Speakers, and likes.

Many of us, at some point in life, read self-help books. The intention is clear, we think that by reading and following the advice in the book, we might make our life better. It is a huge genre in itself and they often turns out to be the best-selling books months after months. But seriously, how many lives of people you know including your own have actually got changed by reading books? Passively Reading is not really acting but just entertainment, isn’t it?

So, why am I jealous of blokes who call themselves Life Coaches? One because it is evident that they are really good at public speaking which I am envious of. Now, I can speak to a good crowd size without breaking a sweat too but I am yet to attain the tag of someone who is considered to be a “Public Speaker – Public Speaker”. Still some way to go! Second, I understand that people are really creatures of habits and your life cannot really change just by attending a free seminar or reading an amazing self-help book. The onus of improving one’s life lies with oneself. Deep down, you know what is wrong in your life and you know how to solve it but inertia, sigh! Of course, if you don’t really know, sure, take some advice and try to mould it to fit your own life. The people who have become these Life Coaches and all, understand our problems as well. They are just people who dress well, speak good words, tell you to follow these 5 pieces of advice and you will become great. Not really. There is no 5 pointer plan to be successful. They act like they know it all and maybe milk your money in the process. I don’t think that is unethical but actually not really worth it. If you find someone who is really worth being a role model, you will automatically try to follow their lifestyle and try to be like them. If that lifestyle is too difficult to follow, then you will just give up and end up just as a fan.

However, my opinion changed a bit after reading Atomic Habits. I have read 2 books about habits. This one and another is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. While The Power of Habit goes a bit scientific, still being really good, about how habits are formed and how habits form individuals by going deep into the science, Atomic Habit uses all that and tells us about how to actually create habits and put it to use.

One of the most important lessons from the book is this, which trumps everything a life coach will say and also life coaches will use the same thing to make you believe them:

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this. The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it.

The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader. The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner. The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.

Simple two-step process: Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

James Clear

The above is used very effectively by the life coaches who are new. They know they are new to the game but they have believed that that’s what they are (self-proclaimed-experts) so they will do everything possible to act as a Life Coach which is actually clever. (It is also easier than being a musician because you will actually have to learn music or being a runner because you actually have to start running.) But being a life coach, you will just have to speak convincingly.

Not making this post about them, the lesson I learnt is this: If you want to change a habit or develop one, act like the person who has good habits. If you transform your identity to become like your role model, the job’s done.

I found Atomic Habits, one of the most well thought of self-help books I have read yet. It gives charts, shout outs, call outs, and makes the habit-formation simpler. I recommend this to anyone who already understands their problems and willing to fix them. It is still up to you how much you want to change your life.

The book summarizes itself pretty well with this:

Whenever you’re looking to improve, you can rotate through the Four Laws of Behavior Change until you find the next bottleneck. Make it obvious. Make it attractive. Make it easy. Make it satisfying. Round and round.

You may buy this book from here: https://amzn.to/2UEPL7y

Featured Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

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