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The Path of Least Resistance

A couple of years back while I was still in the University, specifically University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, I and my roommates decided to adopt a more hygienic way of disposing our refuse.

Prior to this point, we just had 1 refuse bin in a corner of the room. Every kind of trash went into that bin making it quite unsightly, unhygienic and smelly.  And of course disposing the bin was always an issue.

So beyond the potential health hazard, it affected the aesthetics of the room especially when we had visitors from Babylon. If you went to UNEC, you will understand how important it was to have your room tidy when the Babylonians came calling.

After we discussed the matter all of us agreed to buy 1 extra bin and relocate the 2 of them to the kitchen. 1 would be kept in front of the kitchen sink while the 2nd 1 would be in the cabinet under the sink. Paper and other clean general waste were to be placed in the bin in front of the sink while dirty/unsightly wastes were to be placed in the bin underneath the sink inside the cabinet.

Everything seemed perfectly organized and we were extremely pleased that our environmental cleanliness habit would start to take effect.

A couple of days after our agreement, however I started noticing that someone was still throwing wastes in a corner of the room and for those who managed to get to the kitchen they dumped every kind of waste inside the bin outside the kitchen cabinet, even on the floor. Rarely was bin underneath the sink used.

Why was this happening? Was there anybody in the room who didn’t like a clean environment?

This is what I found out. Although everybody was willing to adopt our new habit, whenever they wanted to throw away waste, the old habit kicked in, they became lazy and then followed the path of least resistance.

Throwing the waste inside the bin that is in front of the sink or even leaving it in a corner of the room where the 1st bin used to be seemed way more effortless than walking to the kitchen, opening the cabin door and throwing it in the right bin.

Throwing the waste out of your car window always seems more effortless than taking the trouble to find a roadside waste bin.

But why is that? Why is it that every time we decide to start a new habit our mind raises a mental fence between us and the new habit, thus making us more resistant to it and thereby keeping us in the old habit?

When we think about anything, we follow the path of least resistance.

Former experience is a guide for us to automatically categorize every situation. Even if we are excited about starting something new, our memory drives us back to previously adopted methods.

Everything we do in life is governed by past experience. Events of our past and specific things we have learned, act as mental guides in order for us to engage in new tasks. Therefore, whenever we are faced with a new task, our minds fall back to what we had learned and are already used to doing irrespective of the consequences or outcome.

This is the path of least resistance.

You are what you repeatedly do

The path of least resistance can be a huge hurdle in one’s pursuit of a more effective, productive and purposeful lifestyle. In some situations, it can actually be so big that past experiences would usurp your efforts and won’t allow you to move on in the direction of your desired success.

On the flip side however, the beautiful thing about the concept of the path of least resistance is that if you are able to adopt new successful and empowering habits, this same concept makes it easy to excel and achieve results effortlessly.

That’s why you can’t afford to miss the upcoming session of The Habit Mastery Course opening on Wednesday August 28, 2019.

Successful people have successful habits therefore success becomes a habit

To enroll for the course at a discounted rate please, click HERE

…to your health, wealth and happiness