Getting Out of Auto Pilot

Getting Out of Auto Pilot


We’re so excited to be highlighting our awesome I.T specialist this week, Sir Isaac Peek! Isaac began his career here at VoiceNation working as a call center representative. It didn’t take long for us to notice his proficiency around a computer and so we jumped at the opportunity to bring him on as our full time I.T guy. You can easily identify Isaac by his strong distaste for Macintosh and his one of a kind costumes, reserved especially for Renaissance Festivals. We appreciate all that Isaac does on a daily basis and love having him here on the VoiceNation team! This week, Isaac took a short break from cuddling his precious PC and continued our series on habits based off of Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit. This week he taught our call center reps about the importance of using fear as a source for creating good habits.

In the teaching, we took things a bit deeper this week and connected some missing dots. We discussed that to make wise decisions in any arena requires an understanding of AND submission to the principles and rules that govern that environment. So, what does that mean? Essentially this means that our principles and rules determine the decision-making process. They create the context for good judgment and ultimately form our good habits.

Lets take the example of driving a car. What makes a good driver? Well, you need to understand which is the gas pedal and which is the break and how they are used. You also need to be in submission to the speed limit and all traffic signals such as stop and yield signs. In conclusion, if you understand how to use and operate a vehicle and you have submitted to the rules that govern that vehicle, you will then form habits in the way that you drive.

If we are abiding by the habit loop which states that a cue triggers a routine which equals a reward, then where does that fit in the example above? To find the answer to this we have to decipher what the cue is. If you’re driving along and you notice that you’re going 20 miles over the speed limit there is a little sense of anxiety that takes over. You start looking in your rear-view and side mirrors to check for cops. Once you conclude that the coast is clear, your heart rate drops back to normal and you breathe a sigh of relief. So, what was the cue? Fear of breaking the law and getting a penalty. So, what really makes a good driver is this: you have an understanding of how to operate a vehicle, you’re in submission to the rules of the road and you have a fear of a traffic ticket or accident. Your fear plays a key role in the way you build your habits.

The motivation to go on a diet is for fear of gaining weight. The motivation for going to the doctor every six months is for fear that you may get sick. And lastly, the motivation for working hard, is for fear that you may lose your job. Fear governs everything that we do, we just don’t always notice. The question remains then; could we intentionally use fear as a tool to interrupt our brain’s habit loop so we can be more aware of our habits and also create new ones?

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