Habits – Path Dependence

Brain size, creativity, Energy, Habits, Human Brain, Uncategorized

I have generally been talking about how the human brain eats 25% of the energy that a body needs even though it is only 2% of the body mass. This is one of the reasons for procrastination in my opinion because the brain wants to conserve energy and by delaying the process of using the brain it’s able to save energy.

Since motivation is something which is fickle, you would rather convert something into a habit, so that it gets done automatically with a predetermined set of steps – something which B.J.Fogg explains very well in his book Tiny Habits.

Now the challenge with habits is that once formed, they are difficult to dislodge. So you become – literally a creature of habit. The human brain loves habits because they run on auto pilot, and don’t consume too much of energy. Since one of the key functions of the brain is to ensure your survival, the brain loves everything that does not consume energy so that it has enough when it has to figure out ways to survive.

With habits though you always follow a predetermined “path”.

However with changing situations in all our lives, you need to find ways to move away from the so called “beaten path” What made you successful then, will not make you successful in the future. Nokia realised it too late, Kodak realised it too late and there are a whole lot of other names that you can list. All these companies had put up terrific systems (equivalent of habits) to ensure economies, to ensure quality etc.

But the same systems got them blindsided.

Companies are also made up of people and when companies get blind sided, its the people who have actually got blindsided because they have become creatures of habit. To solve a new problem they use the same old tools, the same old sources of data which they have used earlier. But since the problem is new, the old tools don’t work and we are not willing to go back to first principles to solve the problem. Sometimes it pressure of time, sometimes revenue takes precedence and there are a whole lot of other reasons.

So the key thing to figure out is when to use creativity and when to go with something which has already proven useful many times before. When do you travel on the well tread path or choose a different road when you hit a fork.

As team leaders this is a problem which we face all the time and finding better ways to solve a problem is something that I am continuously looking out for. If you have found a way which helped you to creatively solve a problem pls let me know below in the comments.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

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