Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
 
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.

 


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Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation

Two Great Experiments to Establish a New Habit

Pointers to a Proactive, Consciously Evolving Life

© 2009 Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 

"We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic
of life is its coerciveness: it is always urgent, "here and now,"
without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point-blank."
—Jose Ortega y Gasset

Each of us possesses the power to transform our world in the only time that exists—Now. When we break out of the mind's mold of only one way, whether on a personal or collective basis, we open up the present opening for all possibilities and our ability to flexibly play and improvise, invent and envision, transform and transcend. It's the smallest movements that can produce the greatest strides.

How long does it take on average to establish a new habit? There is the motivational cliché that it takes approximately 21 days or about three weeks to establish a new habit so long as the new behavior is done consistently. This so-called common wisdom may have its source in the book Psycho-Cybernetics (1960) by Maxwell Maltz, M.D. 1 who noticed that amputees took on the average 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb. He drew the conclusion that people take approximately 21 days to adjust or adapt to any major life changes. A recent scientific study by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from the University College London found that on the average a plateau in automaticity for a new habit like changing a daily pattern, whether it is running for fifteen minutes or eating a piece of fruit for lunch, was reached after 66 days, although it varied from 18 days up to 254 days in the habits examined in this study. 2

We can engage two great experiments for a proactive, consciously evolving life:

  • If any behavior, attitude, thought pattern or way of working with a particular emotion appears unfitting, unwanted or unworkable for your life, then you can drop it. Do this consistently for about two months, the empirically supported time it takes to establish a new habit, and then determine whether the positive results outweigh the negative ones. If so, then keep it long gone and, if not, reinstate it back.
     
  • Alternatively, if any behavior, attitude, thought pattern or way of working with a specific feeling seems attractive, desired, attractive or functional for your life, then you can put it on for fit by including it consistently in your daily life. Again do this for about two months and see whether the contributions outweigh the costs. If so, then you can decide to keep it and, if not, you can let it go.

You might have noticed by now that human beings are remarkably inconsistent animals. So it behooves you to have these two experiments take hold means to do the new behavior, attitude, thought pattern or way working with a specific feeling as consistently as you possibly can. What makes these two improvisations great is that each can be truly empowering-that is, counting on yourself as your own authority. With each you actively engage the power within you to re-design your life at any time. Naturally as human beings there is the adaptive, conscious yearning to grow and realize who we are. These experiments provide an incredibly simply structure for this spontaneous, intuitive interest. With life being fired at every one of us point-blank moment by moment, as the opening quote by Jose Ortega y Gasset makes crystal clear, here are a couple ways to fire back with awareness and discernment.

References

1. Maltz, Maxwell (1960) Psycho-Cybernetics. New York: Pocket Books.
2. Lally, Phillippa, van Jaarsveld, Cornelia H. M., Pots, Henry W. W. & Wardle, Jane (2009) "How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world," European Journal of Social Psychology, 16 July 2009 (published online) www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122513384/abstract .
   


George Demont Otis        Autumn Splendor

 
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
 
 


Home | Dedication/Orientation | Articles by Dr. Friedman | Video and Audio Clips | Annotated Resource Links | Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology: Dr. Friedman's Practice | Dr. Friedman's Approach | Therapeutic Purposes | Credentials | Experience | Brochures | Interview | Events and Workshops | Website Disclaimer | Contact