Habits are one of the most useful things we can slip into. If we didn’t habitually do much of our daily lives we would simply be unable to deal with the sensory overload that modern life has become.
Just imagine what a drag it would be if we had to consciously think about breathing, blinking, walking, how to make a cup of tea? Nothing would get done.
So patterns of thinking are naturally ingrained in our psyche.
There are however dangerous limitations to the benefits that repetitive thinking and behaviour clearly has. Habits tend to limit creative thinking and send us down paths that may not exist or lead to assumptions that are based on what we are neurologically programmed to expect.
What assumptions are you making in your business life that may be holding you back or creating blocks in your ability to get the job done in the optimal way. If you tested those assumptions what would you discover?
A female journalist on the news this morning told a story of her recent visit to Afghanistan. She was researching a piece on women’s rights. Now apparently, and I am no expert, the plight of women in Afghanistan remains in many ways barbaric. Particularly so in the Taliban controlled areas, but there have been some limited improvements for some women.
Many schools have now opened their doors to girls and women have been allowed back to work. There has been progress towards equality: a new constitution in 2003 enshrined women's rights in it, and in 2009 Afghanistan adopted the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law. However the researcher was rightly concerned that things are not moving as fast or as far as we all would like.
She arranged to interview a group of women and agreed to meet them and their husbands just outside a village so they could talk openly.
The women arrived crossing the fields to the place they had agreed all walking 10 metres behind their husbands.
The journalist was dismayed to see such an open display of what she assumed was subservience. She asked one of the women about this behaviour despite what she assumed would be a more liberated attitude.
The Afghan wife looked the reporter directly in the eye and explained. “Land mines".
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