Day 26 – Passive Habits vs Active Habits

A wise person once said “You are what you repeatedly do”.  If you repeatedly cook, you are a chef.  If you repeatedly smoker, you are a smoker.  And if you repeatedly carry your brick phone around you are… a rebel?

I don’t consider myself to be a rebel.  I am just trying out a new habit.  And habits, the things we tend to do every day, often times without giving them much thought, are what define us, and make us – us.

So the brick phone switch can be considered a habit.  After all, I am repeatedly using it day in and day out.  In fact, it is just one of the hundreds of habits, big and small, that add up to make me who I am.  But unlike going to the gym 2-3 times a week, the phone carrying habit is a passive habit.

The difference between a passive and active habit is simple – passive habits are things that happen with you not paying them much attention.  Essentially they are things that require no effort.  For example, switching to a brick phone gives you a new passive habit.  You’re going to need your phone outside anyway, so you’re not actively changing things, but the switch IS going to have an effect on your life.  Another passive habit example: put an electric whisper air filter in your room.  You get cleaner air while you sleep and you have to do almost nothing to upkeep (only the occasional filter cleaning).

While passive habits change your life after the initial change, active habits are entirely different.  These are things that you DO every day, actively, that shape who you are.  Do you like to snooze every day?  That’s an active habit.  Do you go to the gym 3 times a week? Active habit.  Can you not go a morning without drinking coffee?  Another active habit (and possibly addiction, but I can’t really say – not an expert on that!)

Active habits are harder to implement.  If you want to start going to the gym 5 days a week, you may be able to go for the first week based on that first JOLT of energy and motivation, but are very likely to fall back on your previous habits.  Your brain has simply not reprogrammed itself to take on the habit of going to the gym.

So there you have it – my brief summary of passive vs active habits.  Just a few days left!





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