Ashok

Dopamine is released not only when you experience pleasure, but also when you anticipate it. Gambling addicts have a dopamine spike right before they place a bet, not after they win. Cocaine addicts get a surge of dopamine when they see the powde, not after theey take it. Whenever you predict that an opportunnity will be rewarding, your levels of dopamine spike in anticipation. And whenever dopamine rises so does your motivation to act.

Your brain has far more neural circuitry allocated for wannting rewards than for liking them. Desire is the engine that drives behaviour. It is the craving that leads to response. The author also talks about temptation bundling.

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A supernormal stimulus or superstimulus is an exaggerated version of a stimulus to which there is an existing response tendency, or any stimulus that elicits a response more strongly than the stimulus for which it evolved. In todays world this has been exploited by the media folks to excite the masses into buying things and looking and experiencing things —junk food, hard liquor, video games These pleasure packed experiences are hard to resist. However this is a great news for us who are into Habits. Leveraging the Supernormal Stimulus we can make a habit attractive. Getting a good bike for cycling, shoes, Jerseys etc to acquire a habit of cycling. The same applies for other new habits.

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Its very difficult to stick to rewarding habits in an environment that is not conducive for producing them. The same applies for bad habits too. The stuff with bad habits is that, the neural pathways that are formed for producing them never fade away. They might look that they are absent but when you are introduced to that environment, the dopamine is secreted and the pathway is triggered. A habit that has been encoded in the mind is ready to be used whenever the relevant situation arises.

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