The Invisible Hand
We often study James Clear when we think about habits and building an environment that supports those habits. Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. We tend to believe our habits are a product of our motivation, talent, and effort and, certainly, these qualities matter. But, surprisingly, especially over a long period, personal characteristics are overpowered by environment.
How to Design a Better Environment
Step 1 – Automate Good Decisions – Design an environment that automatically implements your good decisions.
Step 2 – Get in the Flow – Design activities that flow into good habits to create patterns.
Step 3 – Subtract Negative Influences – Reduce the negative influences in your environment.
The Luck of the Environment
We are quick to blame our environment when things go poorly. If you lose a job, it’s because the economy sucks. If you lose a game, it’s because the officiating was bad. If you’re late to work, it’s because traffic was insane.When we win, however, we ignore the environment completely. If you land a job, it’s because you were talented and likable. If you win a game, it’s because you played better. If you’re early for a meeting, it’s because you are organized and prompt.It is important to remember that the environment drives our good behaviors as well as our bad ones. People who seem to stick to good habits with ease are often benefitting from an environment that makes those behaviors easier.Meanwhile, people who struggle to succeed could be fighting an uphill battle against their environment. What often looks like a lack of willpower is actually the result of a poor environment.Life is a game and if you want to guarantee better results over a sustained period of time, the best approach is to play the game in an environment that favors you. Winners often win because their environment makes winning easier.