My name is Don. Most people that know would describe me as a creature of habit who generally has his s*** together. I run a lot, so I’m relatively fit & trim. I’m fairly well read, so I can fool people into thinking I’m smarter than I actually am. I even keep a list of goals taped to my fridge. I am driven by self-improvement, and I believe engineering my habits is the way to get me there. However, it might surprise people to read that I also daydream of following Peter Gibbon’s dream of doing nothing if I had a million dollars.
(For those unfamiliar with the genius that is Office Space, Peter’s dream is shown below)
What is Habit Engineering?
Habit Engineering starts with conscious manipulation of your environment to reinforce a desired behavior. The desired behavior could be starting something good, like starting meditating daily; or stopping something bad, like snacking on a cookie every afternoon at work. At the first the behavior takes a lot of will power to execute, but over time more and more automatic. Eventually it becomes habit and part of who you are without any thought.
Your personality is really just an accumulation of all of your habits. And with Habit Engineering I hope I can achieve the paradoxical dream of self-improvement while doing nothing (and of course, having a million dollars).
Peter Gibbon’s Dream of Doing Nothing
Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I’ll tell you what I’d do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: [laughs] That’s it? If you had a million dollars, you’d do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, ’cause chicks dig a dude with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well the kind of chicks that’d double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: Well what about you now? what would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I’d relax, I would sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well you don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he’s broke, don’t do shit.