The Current Model (Habit Loop)
  • A cue is an external or internal trigger that signals the potential for a reward.
  • Craving is a feeling that motivates you to take action, and the strength of a craving depends on how you interpret the cue.
  • Craving leads to a response, and response is the actual action or habit you use to satisfy a craving.
  • The reward is the thing that actually satisfies the craving, closes the loop, and encourages us to repeat the action in the future.

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How to Effectively Build Habits | Ultimate Habit Guide

How to Effectively Build Habits | Ultimate Habit Guide

Freedom in Thought

The Problem with Current Model

If you adopt this model, you will perceive the world as a place of cues surrounding you, and you will focus too much on yourself. But the world is fundamentally not a place of cues surrounding you, which you can just optimize and rearrange to your liking. Rather it’s a place of relationship.

The reason anyone wants good habits in the first place is to bloom fully. But the proper blooming of a tree doesn’t occur in isolation, it depends on the forest too.

So we have to take a much wider view of the world, one where relationship is central.

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The Forest-Tree Relationship Model

There are 4 main components: soil, relationships, roots and fruits.

  • The soil represents the opportunity available for growth. Without good soil, no forest can bloom.
  • Relationships represent relationships. Without good symbiotic relationships, the tree must work much harder to survive and thrive while achieving fractional results.
  • The roots represent the actions that the tree uses to discover and capitalize on opportunities in the environment.

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Now let me link the roots back to the other two components: Soil and Relationships
  • If a tree is surrounded by bad soil, its roots take whatever paths are available out of necessity, paths they might not take if the tree was in better soil.
  • If a tree is surrounded by bad relationships, such as other bigger trees blocking out the sun and taking all the water, the tree’s roots will again be forced to take whatever paths are available out of necessity.
  • And at any point in time, the tree is making one of two decisions: 1️⃣Discover a new root path or 2️⃣Optimize its current ones.

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Optimization and Discovery

You can optimize your current actions or discover a new action using the formula of the Perceived Value of an Action, 

Value = Reward/Work

  • To build good habits, you have to use knowledge or technology to reduce the work and increase the reward of actions.
  • To break bad habits you have to use knowledge or technology to increase the work and decrease the reward of actions.

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The Fruits

The fruits represent the actions that the tree uses to create new opportunities for others.

It represents the way in which the tree gives back to and helps sustain the forest which it is a part of and has depended on.

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  • Does the forest I’m in have enough opportunities for me to fully bloom?
  • Can I learn, create, or discover something new here?

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  • Do I have enough symbiotic relationships in this forest?
  • Do I have people I can count on and people
  • Who can count on me?
  • Am I surrounded by people who support my growth as much as I support theirs?
  • Am I surrounded by people I can learn from and people who can learn from me?
  • Do the people around me celebrate my growth?
  • Do I celebrate theirs?
  • Do we share our fruits with one another?
  • Is our growth mutually beneficial and not at the expense of one another?

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  • Have I spent enough time exploring the opportunities in this forest?
  • Can I discover new actions through trial and error?
  • Can I imitate the actions of someone I admire to make the trial and error process faster?
  • Is there a way I can optimize my current actions using the formula Value = Reward / Work?
  • Is there certain knowledge or technology I can get to reduce the work and increase the reward of actions I want to do?
  • Can I use knowledge or technology to increase the work and decrease the reward of actions I don’t want to do?

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  • Have I given back to the environment?
  • Am I creating opportunities for others?
  • Am I helping to sustain the forest I’m in?
  • Am I taking care of the other organisms who take care of me?
  • Am I keeping my relationships symbiotic?

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1️⃣ The soil question: What does opportunity look and feel like to me?

2️⃣ The relationship question: What does a symbiotic relationship look and feel like to me?

3️⃣ The roots question: What does having a good root system look and feel like to me?

What does the process of building out a good root system look and feel like to me?

4️⃣ The fruits question: What does it look and feel like to produce my best fruit?

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The Bloom

Nothing captures the essence of a good life better than a tree flourishing.

A good life is one where we continuously grow, manifest our potential and put forth our best fruit.

Your best life is the one in which you fully bloom like a tree and all 4 of these components must come together to result in full bloom.

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