The Habit Society

⚡️ Our Tribe

To: Society Members

Good Morning!

2021 is the year I finally promised myself some rock-hard abs. Now that it’s the middle of May, and summer is approaching faster than Bitcoin’s crash, we at The Habit Society came up with a solution.

Bum ba duh dumm! We bring to you: The Core Collective, a twice-a-day Zoom that gets right to the point…or plank. Join us every morning and/or evening for a 30-second plank, with 5 seconds added each day. It may seem easy at first, but talk to me (and thank me) in two months. Log-in, plank, keep each other accountable and get on with your day.

Just let us know you’re coming here. We start May 31.

– Nikki

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Engineering Your Social Environment

On that note, today we discuss creating an optimal social environment to take advantage of our strong tendency to imitate those around us. (After all, that’s what The Habit Society is here for.)

We’re a social species that tends to imitate the routines, lifestyles, and habits of those around us. Yes, yes, we’re all individuals, but we still have strong, biological drives that cause us to emulate our work and social environments.

For that reason, someone who wants to lose weight shouldn’t work at an ice cream shop, and a person who wants to master their fear of heights shouldn’t work in the subway. Better a career at a fitness company for the former and a job at the Shanghai Tower Observation Deck for the latter.

In his best-seller Atomic Habits, James Clear discusses how as humans, we tend to model the behaviours of three social groups: close family and friends, the many (everyone in our tribe/religion/softball team), and the powerful. Clear makes clear that we’re herd animals who want to fit in, to feel a sense of belonging, to adhere to a greater social pattern that supersedes the will of the individual. After all, being kicked out of a tribe used to be a literal death sentence.

So the question becomes, how do we surround ourselves with the right tribe in order to perfect our habits? You can’t choose your family and as any episode of The Office has ever taught us, great colleagues can be hard to cherry-pick. The answer can be a bit of a conundrum.

Finding Where You *Should* Belong

James Clear cites the study of over 12 thousand people over the course of 32 years. The study found that a person’s chance of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese. Of course, it works the other way. When one person in a relationship sized down, their other partner would also lose weight ⅓ of the time.

As he says, “We soak up the qualities and practices around us.”

Behaviour Is Subjective

Aside from choosing the right romantic partner, immediate friends, and roommates, our inclination to imitate the many means it’s a good idea to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. The subjectivity of behavior gives us many cultures to choose from. Whatever your desired niche, go there and find your belonging. So if you’re into drinking away your sorrow with little daylight without being judged, waking up at 5 AM in the middle of the street with a bruised face and a bad hangover, best move back to your college town.

Anyway, things seem more achievable when you see it all day. When you surround yourself with like-minded individuals with similar perspectives and goals, or people who have mastered the habits you wish to perfect, you’re one step closer toward the direction of self-improvement. You’ll also feel a sense of belonging, like you’re part of the tribe, satisfying the biological drive of being part of something greater than ourselves. Growth and change transition from individual pursuits to group pursuits. Community helps behaviors sustain and improve.

“There’s a lot of internal pressure to do the same as the crowd around us. We want to get along with others. Change is attractive when it means fitting in with the tribe.” Find the right tribe.

Mentors & Opinion Leaders

It’s a natural tendency to imitate people we admire. Finding the right opinion leaders and personal mentors is a vital step toward holding ourselves accountable when trying to make our habits last. Just a meeting or phone call every two weeks with an admirable mentor in a position of power can have a massive impact on how you conduct your personal life.

Whether we like it or not, we’re susceptible to these biological drives. Once we accept it, we can come to position ourselves properly in order to meet desired goals.

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Congrats to last week’s referral giveaway winners, Afton and (newbie) Norma from Canada. Enjoy the AirTags!

Connect: If you had to read this newsletter before properly engineering your social environment (wink, wink), here’s another chance to join our plank group.

Share & Earn: Don’t forget to share your unique referral link with friends to optimize your social environment.

Join: The Habit Society on Slack

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