Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time - by Tynan

5 minute read

ISBN: 978-1503295599, READ: 2017-02-17, RATING: 7/10

A great little book about habits. Full of impactful, punch-lines. I’d recommend it, but I’d also suggest reading Getting Things Done. While this books offers motivation, GTD offers techniques. You don’t need to be motivated or inspired in this life. You only need to get shit done.

See Amazon Page for details and reviews.

My Highlights

Habits are the closest we can get to having superpowers.

When people learn that I write every single day, study a foreign language every day, work on my big projects every day, eat healthy every day, work out every other day, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule, they marvel at the deep well of self discipline that I have.

It’s a loophole that allows you to upgrade your health, quality of life, productivity, and enjoyment of the world with a fixed expenditure of energy in creating a habit, rather than on an ongoing drain on your willpower.

This takes effort, but establishing most habits takes the relatively short time of one to twelve months.

If you procrastinated today, it’s because you’ve built the habit of procrastinating.

Even your outlook on life is the product of your habits.

Replacing just a few key negative habits with a few positive habits can easily be the difference between being mostly unhappy and being happy almost all of the time.

Good habits aren’t more difficult to execute than bad habits, they’re just harder to build

I battled with myself and spent the better part of six months destroying my old habit of sloth and replacing it with the habit of industry

New habits are things that you do, but old habits are things that you are.

If you want to improve yourself permanently, you must develop more old habits, which is done by creating new habits and sticking with them until they mature into old habits.

Habits can only be thought of rationally when looked at from a perspective of years or decades.

Your results will be commensurate with the consistency to which you execute your habits, not to the magnitude of their one-time impact.

Second, you should be very scared to fail to execute a habit, even once. By failing to execute, potentially you’re not just losing a minor bit of progress, but rather threatening the cumulative benefits you’d accrue by establishing a habit. This is a huge deal and should not be treated lightly. So make your habits relatively easy, but never miss doing them.

Absolutely Never Skip Twice

Plan Variances

When planning a variance, make it concrete, black and white, and specify exactly when the variance will end. For example, instead of doing your regular gym routine while traveling through Europe, you commit to do twenty pushups every morning, and then as soon as you return home, resume your normal routine.

So what do you do when you’ve promised yourself that you’ll write five hundred words every single day, but you’re sick, tired, busy, and can’t think of a single thing to write about? Just do a terrible job.

Remember that the power of a habit isn’t actually in the individual execution, but in the consistency. It is far far worse to skip doing something than to just do a horrible job of it.

The real danger of not following through with something is that your brain figures out that if it just puts a few small barriers in your way, it can go back to resting.

They have great intentions, good goals, and plenty of ability, but something seems to cause them to quit every single time they start a new campaign. That something is their brain trying to preserve its low-energy efficiency.

Mistakes will happen, but the most important thing is how you react to them. If successes push you forward, but mistakes also push you forward, you will have a lot more forward progress than if success moves you forward but mistakes pull you back.

Instead of saying, “I’m so bad at this”, say “I’m better than this.” That’s how you use mistakes to your advantage.

A downward spiral of failing to adopt habits is harmful in the long term, and the time spent on a habit that never had a chance could have been better spent on a properly motivated habit that would have been successful. Whenever you feel like you may not have proper motivation for a habit, pick a new one and revisit the discarded habit later

If you are not going to follow through with a habit, it is better to never start it at all.

  1. What good things will happen if I implement this habit? 2. What bad things will happen if I implement this habit?

To make sure that this motivation sticks, write yourself a note explaining why you’re going to implement the habit.

boredom might trigger wasting time online.

Whenever you begin a new habit, you should think about what its trigger is going to be, and to commit to that.

The only reason I didn’t quit was that I realized I was in the worst possible position to make the decision. The greatest benefits of quitting were short-term, which is a sure sign of a mistake. I had emotional firsthand experience with the downsides of working out, but hadn’t waited long enough to enjoy the benefits

One of the biggest pitfalls in habit-building is quitting at the worst possible time, accruing the fewest benefits for the most effort, and while evaluating the situation from the cloudiest perspective.

The three main disruptive habits are the use of drugs, the seeking of stimulation, and the habit of hanging out with negative friends.

Those who have a problem with seeking stimulation are never content focusing on one thing. Instead they jump from one to the next, trying to get a quick hit of dopamine. To build good habits, you must be able to focus on the process of what you’re doing, both for personal satisfaction, and as a mechanism for improving your habits. An addiction to stimulation makes that impossible, and traps you in a cycle of web browsing, channel surfing, or simply focus-shifting.

Use the impulse to seek stimulation as a trigger for a habit of taking a moment to think about what you should actually be doing with your time.

Remember that if you’ve committed to this habit, you should not quit in the loading phase where there are no benefits but there is effort required.

“Remember that everyone is just doing their best and trying to be happy, just like you.”

“Remember that this person is just doing their best and trying to be happy, just like me.”

I am able to see my counterpart as a real human being, for whom this interaction is a tiny slice of their life. That puts things in context and all of a sudden I’m able to find reasonable excuses for their behavior.

Use your mistakes to focus. They draw attention to an area that needs more attention, so give it that attention.