American football coach, Tony Dungy changed the game with an interesting yet counter-intuitive coaching approach. Instead of trying to outmatch his competition with complex schemes and tougher players, Tony drilled his team to only a few key plays. He did everything that he could to get his team to stop thinking, and react based on habit instead.
Tony understood that habits cannot usually be overcome. Instead, a habit can only be changed if a new routine is successfully inserted into the process with exactly the same cue and the same reward. He then trained his team to automatically link the cues that they already knew to different routines that were on-field. This consisted of routines that were less complex, required fewer choices in decision-making, and more subconscious reactions. With this approach, Tony turn two abysmal teams into championship contenders.
Perhaps, one of the most famous example of successful habit change is the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The author (of this book) was fascinated with how a physical addiction with psychological and genetic roots is frequently overcome by an unscientific, unstructured and largely arbitrary system that addresses neither the psychiatric nor biochemical factors that experts say are the foundation of alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous inserts a new routine into the cue/reward system by identifying what need the alcohol is fulfilling (e.g. escapism, relaxation, companionship, etc.) and hence provides a similar type of relief through the AA group.
Nevertheless, this is insufficient to keep alcoholics from refraining from drinking beer or wine when the stresses of life takes its toll. There is one other crucial element: belief. Belief is a skill that makes habit change possible.
Change occurs among other people. It seems real when we can see it in other people's eyes.
My name is Willie, and I like to muse about things. Things related to me are Wellaholic.