Though they may be seen as broad categories that are nuanced, they overlap considerably instead of being two separate domains.
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We know that learning is about knowledge, information, and skills; while habits are routines, behaviors, and actions. But the two are actually quite similar to each other.
Habit and learning have the same equation used when dealing with specific situations:
Both habit and learning are complicated with varying responses but often have an automated response.
Learning isn't just the process of storing information, but it is also a process where we can prepare particular actions for certain contexts. Learning is cue-driven and context-based, as much as habit-formation.
By seeing habits-as-learning, we then recognize that what we do is not only a matter of self-discipline but also of exploration and experimentation. When we begin to see learning and habits for what they are we can then use this knowledge to learn better and make better habits.
When we mention habits, we automatically think of routine behaviors done to achieve a certain outcome, whereas learning is thought to be more of a conscious process.
Habitual actions have a strong default and it is strikingly similar to that of learning. For example, when you encounter a familiar problem, the predominant tendency is to apply the techniques you've learned before. When solving a problem in a novel way, it takes effort... the same way on breaking out of a habitual groove.
Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.
Reading books means you're getting more concentrated thinking on a topic. It's also harder and requires patience and attention than reading an article for example.
The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.
Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response, reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits.
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