The Power of Habits

Lesson 13/34 - Know Yourself

 

The Power of Habits

 

Lesson Info

Know Yourself

We're going to start this morning by learning a little bit about ourselves, um, as a way of trying to understand how it is that we different from everybody else and and that's really going to be focused on issues of personality. And so this morning is going to be talking about a variety of aspects of personality, both some very basic personality characteristics as well as some, some other key characteristics that influenced the way that you go about your daily life and why it is that it's so important to really figure out how that personality works and to kind of work within that personality in your life so that you that you can kind of live and put yourself in situations that that feel authentically like you. And so I want to put this into some perspective, okay? Let's, let's, let's, start by just going back a little bit in thinking about what yesterday was like, okay, we started out by talking about aspect of your habits, ok? The very first thing that we were focused on was this idea...

, the role of three the lot of you talked about in the in the opening segment, but this idea that that whenever we learned things, we're focused on finding approximately three things that were going to remember and then really controlling what it is we're going to remember and using that information, and not only that, but using all of this to influence what other people remember about us. And this idea that both that we can learn both about ourselves and how we influence other people is a really theme and what we're talking about over these three days, right? Because every time that you learned something about yourself, most of what you learn about yourself in some way applies to what everybody else in the world does. And so there's this interesting duality that the more that you understand about yourself, the more that you can. I understand the world around you and understand the people around you. So when you understand something about the way that you think effectively that no not only helps you, it can help you to help other people, to think effectively. When you learn something about your own habits, then not only can you help to change your own habits, you can actually help other people to change their have. And when you learn things about things like your personality, not only do you understand yourself and your place in the world better, but you can actually help everybody else in the world, tio to understand their place and tow and to really work with other people's personalities to make sure that if you're organizing a group of people that what you're doing is organizing them in a way that is going to help everyone toe work together effectively. So we started off yesterday talking about this role of three, and then we dove in tow habits. We talked about the formula for habits remember, we talked that if you have a consistent mapping that you repeat, then you get this habit and that when you want to change your habits, you don't really break habits. You don't replace the habit with nothing, no behavior, you have to replace something with something else. Once we understand that, then we can begin to dive into the motivational system, which is why we spend a lot of time talking about that go system. That system that engages goals gives them energy. We showed that your keys, dots and curved you shaped curve yesterday, where when you have low arousal, low energy, you don't really get much done as that energy goes up. You get more and more enthused to do things, and that works really well till you go over the edge of that your keys, dots and curve into panic, and then you don't get anything done anymore. Right that ghost system is balanced by a stop system that stops you from doing things that you don't want to do once you've engaged a goal unfortunately that stop system isn't nearly as effective as we'd like it to be it's you know, willpower will fall apart eventually right? So um and what that means is that when you're trying to really make changes in your life you don't want to ride those brakes okay? And so then we talked about well if you don't want to ride the brakes how do you create a plan how do you create an agenda that is gonna help you tow institute new behaviors into your life? And we talked about creating that kind of implementation intention that very specific plan that's going to help you to engage goals and that was really where we went yesterday and now today we're going to move forward by starting in thinking about personality you might say, well, what are we doing? We're shifting gears completely if we lost everything that we were doing but here's the thing your personality is we're going to see is really a reflection of the way that your ghost system wants to operate okay? So your personality is a reflection of the way that your brain is set as a default you know, if you think about about the factory settings that come on a computer that you get or a car that you get you know, we may be able to tweak things a little bit, but chances are we sort of leave everything more or less as as it was started unless you become a real expert, right? And so those default settings that's that's really your personality and one of the things that that does is that that your personality characteristics have actually created a tremendous number of habits in you and one of the things you may not be aware of is the number of habits you have that are a reflection of the way that your personality works and so by understanding your personality more, you can understand the roots of a lot of your habits. So one reason we want to understand this is really to figure out where some of these habits came from, because sometimes when we want to make changes in our behavior, we may realize that what we have to do is actually to fight against, uh, these elements of our personality, and we need to understand that in order to figure out how successful were likely to be and making certain kinds of changes in our lives and almost any changes something we can make but it's useful to know whether we're you know how much of an uphill battle we're fighting in order to do that so we're gonna talk about that and then we're gonna talk a little bit about the idea of influence and when I talk about influence what I mean is not just influence influencing others which is the way we usually use the word but also influencing ourselves one of the things we want to do whenever we're trying to change either our own behavior or to help other people to change theirs is that we are we are really in this in that sphere of influence and it's funny because a lot of us you know think about influence we think about sales and things like that marketing we think what is the message that we could provide to someone that would change their behavior and one of the things that I always ask people I'm going to repeat this again later is is when was the last time somebody simply told you something that had a fundamental influence on your behavior almost never it is rare that someone simply tells you something and it changes your behavior instead you have to engage yourself partly using some of the techniques we talked about yesterday by creating plans but sometimes also by hanging out with the right people and by changing your environment and so this afternoon we're going to really focus on those two elements the people in your life and the environment that you live in how does that affect your own behavior and how can you use that to help other people to change theirs and that's where we're going over the course of today all right, so let's get to it right um so really I want to start just by by asking a simple question we'll get some answers here maybe from the people on the chat if you think about personality, if you if you hear the word personality and we use the word all the time, right, what do you think of? Because and and I want to put this, you know, it make make this clear, right? Ah lot of words that psychologists use are the same words that everybody else uses on lee we don't always mean the same thing by them, right? Because we way, we've studied them for a little bit more and so the professional meanings of these words have changed a little bit and so it's useful to start by just thinking about well, what we generally mean when we talk about personality. So so what do you guys what do you guys think of when you think of personality about character, your character? Okay, yeah, characters you handles certain situation, how you handle situations, think about how someone converse is or how funny they are communicate so other people okay, ways that people communicate, we got anybody, uh online they're yeah, they're starting to come in now my own critique on this is I agree with that sort of ah well, the way you interact with different people, how you kind of gauge other people's personalities, how you communicate with one another and how you I guess reacts to different communications cool, excellent well of any interesting stuff come out of the way we will let you know. So so if we think about this from the psychology standpoint, the way that we talk about personality is to think about our default ways of doing things, what is it that you kind of? How would you like to approach different situations as a result of who you are all right? That's really what your personality reflect and and really, when we talk about personality, we tend to mean the dimensions along which people are different from each other and it's important to recognize that because there are some ways that we're all very similar and way think of that is human nature, right? So you could think of the distinction between oh that's, just human nature that means that's what everybody does versus that's a personality characteristic meaning that's something that is fairly unique to that person relative to everybody else, or at least it's there's a there's there's dimensions along which people differ and this is one of them, right? So if you think about it, nobody walks around going yeah, I'm a neater love to eat, breathing to use language love to use language, right? I mean that's of course you know that's part of being human rights so when people are talking about their personality, their really focused on the ways that people differ we're coming in here now on the chat kate says that it's a person's demeanor task man says that personality is the predictable motivations and behaviour of a person on heat a says it's how they behave jen vasquez photography says how you react your gut reaction to someone else's behavior nice yeah, and this this idea of the gut reaction is nice because you know really what what what personality is reflecting is is the tuning of your motivational system and remember what I talked about yesterday, right? In order to get to a lot of these motivational mechanisms in your brain, you gotta dig very deep down into your brain right mean, the ghost system involves these structures that are these gray matter structures really deep inside the brain, and they don't communicate that well with the rest of your brain, which means that a lot of your personality characteristics are a reflection of these areas of your brain that don't communicate that well with the rest of your brain and so often you have this gut reaction you have this really what we mean is not that it's happening in here but it's happening so deep inside your brain that you react this way without necessarily knowing why you reacted that way you know it's just that's just the way I am you know we'll say that people will say that about their personalities what do you want for me, that's? Just who I am, you know? And then you say why you're like, what do you mean, why there's no reason it's it's just that's just me, you know, and that's that's really? What personality is all about now when we talk about personality characteristics were talking about things that are fairly stable over time once you become an adult. So I want to point one thing out for anybody who has kids or knows kids um at young kids, adolescents are still really malleable. The brain is maturing over here if the first twenty odd years of your life, the deeper structures tend to mature a little bit earlier, but but your personality is a reflection of a lot of different aspects of brain development. So if you have an eight year old who is a really anxious person, actually I give you an example. I was actually a really anxious kid. I mean, really anxious I would if I didn't know what was gonna happen, I got really nervous about things, there were all sorts of things I didn't want to do and so you think I might grow up into adults who was that way but it turns out that I was largely that way because my mom is that way and so I would react to things the way she reacted to things because that was the environment she was she's she's a wonderful woman mom if you're listening so I love my mom but she's an anxious person and I would get very anxious around her and once I began to separate from her is a human being I discovered actually I wasn't nearly as anxious about things as she is and so you know, my personality if you were to think about it it looked like it changed because my behavior was very different uh so you know, if you if you're hanging out with young kids and you're worried about what kind of personality they're gonna have relax a little bit you're not really going to know who they are until they're in their early twenties in part because these mechanisms in the frontal lobes of the brain don't actually mature until you're in your early twenties um you know there's a reason why they won't rent a car to somebody under twenty five right it's just it takes a long time and actually I mean this is just as an aside right? If you're hanging out with teenagers and you and you think man, these these kids or brain damaged they are I mean literally there brain damage the brain doesn't damage right? It just the brain isn't fully cooked yet right? And it actually takes until your early twenties until that happened so so one of the reasons your personality doesn't really solidify until you reach that age is because your brain is still developing but once you hit your early twenties your personality is fairly stable over the life span there are some changes that will happen as you get older but it's again fairly stable it's also somewhat stable across situations okay people aren't always going to do exactly the same thing if you know somebody who is kind of aggressive at work then you know they may not be aggressive in every other situation right but but there is some stability over over the situations that people are in I always tell the story about my dad since I told her about my mom will tell start about my dad my dad is a very kind of stable guy you know we're gonna talk about one of the key personality dimensions that involves sort of how emotionally stable you are and he's kind of a stable guy unless he's watching a new york giants football game and then he's just crazy right? I mean he's I've you know from it's from a young age I remember watching him watching television, watching the giants on tv and screaming at the television and in that era the giants were horrible so it was a lot of screaming and what I what I know is every once in a while friends of his would come over and see him watching a football game and try and figure out what had possessed my dad because that's that wasn't him in any other situation except when he was sitting in front of the giants on tv so there are sometimes situations that that will cause us to go against our personality or toe act in a way that seems surprising given our personnel but but our personality is generally speaking pretty stable over time pretty stable over situation now in order to get to know ourselves a bit better, we're going to do a couple of different kinds of personality quiz is over the course of the day now I asked everybody who's here today to do that is homework but we are going to give everybody who's at home if you've got the pdf if you downloaded already if you don't you still have a couple of seconds to do it before I get started here but I'm gonna give everybody a couple of minutes to do that maybe I'll see if there are any questions either hear from home while you're doing that so what I want you to dio is on page thirteen of the workbook if you haven't uh if you haven't done it already grabbed that workbook and uh and fill out it's a very short personality inventory it's actually one that's in the psychology literature it was developed by sam gosling and bill swan or two of my colleagues at the university of texas and they call it the ten item personality inventory because it's got ten items and it's a so why don't you take a couple of minutes to do that in the meantime we'll see if anything's come across the wires here we'll take a question here now this question comes from task man and they're asking about they said I don't think of myself as having a certain personality I wonder why now is this something that maybe it's hard for people to assess in themselves? Now you say like, oh, your mother has a certain personality and you know something when you know your mother or a close friend but how do you evaluate your own personality? Yeah, so so it's really interesting I mean, if you think about it, there are all sorts of aspects of our own behaviour that we that we can sometimes live in ignorance of, you know, there's an old on old saying that the that the fish doesn't see the water right because it's just part of their environment and you know you are who you are in some ways and so you know, it's like growing up I grew up in new jersey and and I would say, well, you know it's funny everyone else in the world has an accent but I don't and you know and then people look at me really you know and I think that that that that that's it's the same thing with personality you know, you see that other people may be a little bit different but you don't necessarily recognize how how you yourself operate in part because remember these personality characteristics air so deeply ingrained in the brain that that they're not you know that motivational system isn't communicating that well with the rest of the brain so you don't necessarily see it so how can you assess that? Well, there are a couple of things you could do one is you can take this ten night of personality inventory and in a variety of other inventory is there's actually if you have the pdf here there's actually several other personality worksheets that many of which we're going to talk about in the next section and you can begin to learn more about yourself that way and then once and and I think the goal of a class like this is to become aware of some of the dimensions of difference between people so that you could begin to say oh not everyone does it this way and that's the way that you become aware of your personality ultimately is by becoming aware of the various ways that people really do differ so then you realize oh, I do things this way not everybody does that they'd some people will react very differently and it's important to learn that because let's face it you're going to get into the world you're going to be dealing with people and ask yourself how do I figure out what other people are going to be doing in a situation? Well, often what I do is I project myself into that situation and ask myself what would I do? Right and that could be useful sometimes but there are times where people surprise you you know you have you ever had this you plan like a party and you think karaoke e let's do karaoke at the party everyone's gonna love that right? And you get there and there's like two people who think all awesome karaoke e and all much other people like uh I don't I don't know about that and you're thinking no no no come on it's gonna be great we're all friends it's gonna be fun and they're like uh you know no, I don't think so I don't sing well you're like no, nobody sings well it's ok and they're like no no that's okay, I'm not gonna do it and afterwards you like I don't get it why why was it that people are having trouble? Well it's because people differ in their personality and if you don't I understand that those differences then then their reactions to situations like that are surprising, right? So so that's so the way you learn about person at your own personalities in some sense just to learn about personality in general and then to realize, oh, this is this is where I fit this is me, you're learning like a mental geography and then you're finding the you are here sticker, we have another question come in from habit hunter, they say, what if I don't like my personality? Sometimes can I change that? And then this is interesting. They say someone told me that your personality changes every seven years, any truth to that? Uh, you know, I don't know you got a money back guarantee and, uh oh, yeah like you wake up one morning and go holy cow it's it's twenty fourteen now, I'm I'm really open to experience suddenly, so your personality is fairly stable across the life span fairly stable. Oh, but but it is it is it does create a set of habits in you so it's not the personality is impossible to change, but you have to put yourself in situations in order to create changes and your personality will resist some of those changes um and it's not so much the personality changes every seven years but I will talk after we introduce these these initial five dimensions. We will talk about some of the changes that do happen to people's personalities over over the course of their lives. Um, because there are some some small things that change. Okay. All right. So why don't we go to it? Because I know everybody here filled out their inventories, and hopefully now everybody at home has had a chance. Do that as well. You're still downloading that pdf. I don't even know what to say at this point. Now, um, on the second page of that inventory was a score sheet. Okay, where you could total things up. Someday we'll have a nap for this, but right now we just have it on a worksheet and then at the very bottom, starting at the bottom of this on dh moving on to the next page you actually can. You can put yourself on the various dimensions, and you'll notice that there are five of those dimensions. And before I introduce those five dimensions, I want to ask everybody who's here, a couple of questions just about their scores in general. So the range on these scores actually goes from two to fourteen. Okay, on the small, the lowest score you get to the high score. You could get us a fourteen on each of these dimensions of what I want to know for these five dimensions. If you look across them, how many of you are extreme meaning, ah, thirteen or fourteen or a two or three. So on the very low into the very hour hand on every single dimension, all five, anybody. So nobody was extreme on all five of the dimensions in the room here. And if somebody was outside, they can let us know anybody extreme on four of the dimensions. Okay, one extreme is two or three or thirteen or fourteen away at the end. Anybody extreme on for extreme? On three, two or three. Or thirteen or fourteen. One ofyou extreme on two of the dimensions. Okay. On one of the dimensions on none of the dimensions. All right. That's. A pretty typical pattern. Okay, so one of the things that we want to know, what we want to recognize about these personality characteristics from the beginning is the data are kind of well behaved. Okay, so if you look at distributions of data right now, I'm gonna be a statistician. Um, if you so I'm gonna play that I'm gonna play a distribution, okay, a distribution of data, the well behaved distribution. What we sometimes think I was a normal distribution is sort of shaped like this. It's got a curve on the sides, and then it goes up and then back down and out. So I'm sort of a normal distribution. Um, eso personality characteristics are pretty normally distributed, their well behaved and centered right around the middle, meaning that most people are actually in the middle, and then some people are at the extremes. And so what that means is that actually, most of us have elements of both characteristics on these dimensions. Most of us are not really extreme on things. Okay, so that's that that's what I want to point that out. And so actually, there are very few people who are sort of at the extremes of every single dimension.

Class Description

Setting a goal is one thing, but actually doing the work to achieve that goal is a totally different endeavor. If you want to hit your targets and make lasting changes in your life, join author and psychologist Art Markman, Ph.D., to learn what it takes to build and maintain healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

This course won’t serve up superficial self-help tips; instead, you’ll dive into the latest cognitive science behind behavior change. You’ll learn how to build new, positive habits and break the cycle of existing negative ones. You’ll explore what it takes to sustain healthy habits over time and increase your chances of maintaining new habits by empowering your friends and family to make positive changes, too.

Don’t waste another day simply wishing you could make a change that really sticks — equip yourself with the techniques you need to transform your life in measurable, powerful, and positive ways.

Reviews

Anna
 

Wow. Very engaging, entertaining, and enlightening. Art Markman is so much fun to watch and listen to during the entire 3 day class. His brain dump has zero fluff. The concentration of so much information is incredible, and how he gets it into your head is mind boggling. He's whipped my brains into a spongy soufflé. I am so happy I discovered this class. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student
 

There are many things that can be said about success, but it really boils down to habits. What we do every day, consciously or subconsciously, are the causes that result in the effects sculpting our life. As beneficial as many of the courses on Creative Live are, none of them will pay off if they don't impact our habits. Not just a great course, but a mandatory one to make the others happen. Art's presentation is easy to understand, well expressed, and incredibly useful. Remember his sax playing. What is it you want to accomplish, and what habits do you need to exchange?