The 3 Modern Mirrors: Exposing Your True Habits And Where They Are Taking You

The 3 Modern Mirrors: Exposing Your True Habits And Where They're Taking You

Anyone who has ever written a book before (I've written two so I know this to be true) will tell you that it is an incredibly terrible idea to edit your own work. Why is that?

Because humans aren't good at seeing their flaws, both in writing and in life. 

There's a few reasons for this:

  1. Our habits can become subconscious so we don't think about them, we just do them
  2. We tend to think better of ourselves than what reality would reflect
  3. Self-awareness is not something people develop naturally, it takes a lot of work 

That's not an exhaustive list but they're some top results. No wonder therapists have a lot of repeat customers.

There is one benefit of technology being so invasive and essential to our lives. We actually have data on ourselves that can help us with a proper self-assessment of our habits and prioritites.

I call them the 3 Modern Mirrors and they are dangerously honest.

You can lie to your parents.

You can lie to your friends.

You can even lie to yourself.

But you can't lie to data and it doesn't give a damn about your feelings.

So if you're ready to explore the cold, hard truth about your habits and priorities, read on.

The First Mirror - Phone Screen Time Results

For every person who has a smart phone, you can get daily and weekly results on how much time you have spent on your phone.

On my iPhone, it is incredibly detailed. It shows me...

  • how minutes I've spent on each app
  • the amount of times I've picked up my phone
  • how many notifications I've recieved and from what apps

The obvious takeaway from this is the amount of time you spend on social media, watching videos or playing games.

A not so obvious takeaway is how many "pickups" you have and what notifications are triggering that. The Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma goes into detail on how companies use notifications to get you back on their app to spend money and watch ads.

They are literally hacking your brain and behaviors through technology, psychology and science to make this happen and its incredibly effective.

The average American picks up their phone 96 times a day...about every 10 minutes.

You will never be able to focus and achieve deep work in that state of constant distraction.

Recommendation: Use Do Not Disturb and shut off ALL notifications on your phone. The only exception I make is text messages and group chats I routinely mute.

The Second Mirror - Internet Browser History

Where do you go regularly online?

Statistically these are the 4 most searched categories in order...

  1. Porn takes gold for the most searched category estimated at around 15-20% of all search
  2. Social media comes in at a close second
  3. Weather sneaks in for third place
  4. Shopping comes in at a close 4th and is actually 3rd if we include the fact that we use social media to shop just as much as websites

Pull up your internet history. Don't think you know. Actually do it. Scroll through the websites for the past week. Then the past month.

And if you use some form Icognito Mode to hide your browsing history, then DEFINITELY ask the question why you feel the need to do that. 

Now ask these questions...

  • "What do I regularly get on the internet for? (exclude work and school)
  • "Why do I search for these things?"
  • "Why are these things so important to me?"
  • "What will my future look like if I never stop these online habits?"

Recommendation: If there is a habit like online gambling, porn, social media or shopping that you deem detrimental to your health or finances, find a trusted person to discuss this with. Cheap dopamine is the devil. 

The Third Mirror - Your Bank Account

I can tell a lot about a person when I know what they spend their money and how they spend it.

  • Do they consistently shop or do they stress-buy as a way to make themselves feel better?
  • Is their house falling apart but they have a new BMW in the driveway?
  • Are they dressed poorly but have top-of-the-line gadgets and "toys"?
  • Is their Resturaunt spending 3x higher than their grocery bill?
  • Are their bills automated or do they manually pay everything?

These can all reveal different behaviors and motivations. But here's the danger to this mirror.

It's one of the easiest to try and justify to ourselves.

We don't want to feel shame for the things we buy so its easy to justify that "the new computer monitor was for work" even though you know there was nothing wrong with the other monitor and you just wanted the bigger screen and 8k resolution.

We don't want to acknowledge our weaknesses and that you've allowed your coping mechanism to a stressful job to become shopping for new clothes even though your closet is bursting at the seams. 

We don't want to realize that we are bad at managing our money and wasting it every month on things like gym memberships we don't go to, apps on our phones we don't ever use, or services that we only use once or twice and aren't worth it.

But its important that we do so. Our future depends heavily on it.

Recommendation: Create a spreadsheet and list your expenses. Eliminate things you consistently spend money on that you don't need or want to get rid of. Add up that amount. Dream about something beneficial you could use that money on. Then, have an honest conversation with someone close to you about the changes you want to make.

We Are Creatures of Habit...For Better Or Worse

The good news is this. It's never too late to make changes. You just have to go about it properly.

  1. Define WHY you need to change or you never will, the higher the stakes the better
  2. Get accountability either with a coach, close friends or both
  3. Give yourself hope and excitement...what will you do when you've made this change?
  4. Start small, be consistent, get progressively better. No one starts training for a marathon by running 20 miles. 
  5. Believe that you will do it. Say it out loud to yourself every day. I AM GOING TO (insert thing you're going to do here). Win the mental game and you've already won.

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