To many people, the word “habit” evokes negative images. But according to an article in the New York Times, our habits can in fact be a source of creativity and innovation.
Making something fresh out of old habits is very simple: you simply have to ignore the old habits and strive to build better ones. The benefits of taking that route are numerous, and include making your mind better acquianted to innovation, and possibly greatness.
Habits – whether negative or positive – are developed over time and tie themselves around your being, defining who you are. Put simply, habit is a form of behavior that in time occurs automatically or unconsciously. In popular lingo, habits are often regarded with disdain.
That is if we strive to break the habits we have already formed and map new ones. The process of establishing new habits injects new sparks into the brain thereby helping an individual to think in a breakthrough manner.
“Rather than dismissing ourselves as unchangeable creatures of habit, we can instead direct our own change by consciously developing new habits,” says the article titled “Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?”.
“In fact, the more new things we try — the more we step outside our comfort zone — the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.”
Establishing new habits takes energy, commitment and time but instead of investing your time in fighting off old habits, the key to success is to develop a new repertoire of behaviors.
In other words, it is important to develop a vision of the new behaviors that one want to incorporate into their life, and then meticulously follow that plan.
According to the New York Times report, old habits get ingrained into the hippocampus, and cannot be fought.
“Don’t bother trying to kill off old habits; once those ruts of procedure are worn into the hippocampus, they’re there to stay. Instead, the new habits we deliberately ingrain into ourselves create parallel pathways that can bypass those old roads,” states the article.
Creating new habits helps to make your mind to be fascinated with wonder, so to speak, which is a quality essential for innovation and new discoveries,.
“A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities,” the article quotes Dawna Markova, author of “The Open Mind” and an executive change consultant for Professional Thinking Partners.
The article adds that real change occurs only when we are stretched into doing something that is awkward, that is, something that significantly takes us away from the path that we have been traveling.
According to the report, learning new things challenges our brains to create new pathways and, in the process, avoiding mental problems.