The Power of Friction
The Power of Friction

The Power of Friction

The greater the friction, the less likely the habit. - James Clear

Have you ever felt it difficult to break an old bad habit or to build a positive new one? All of us have most likely experienced this in our lives as we all suffer from having a life different than we exactly want.

For me I have been unable to break the habit of biting my nails for 15 years, however, I can at the same time build good habits pretty easily by utilizing the power of friction.

Friction is essentially the resistance that causes more effort for an action to take place. The more of this that exists for a specific action the less likely someone is to make the effort to complete the task, while less friction results in a higher likelihood for someone to complete a task.

Building new habits and breaking old bad ones, is all about setting yourself up for success by leveraging friction. Are you trying to stop eating sweets but they are still in your house? Are you trying to start working out but you have to dig through a closet to find your gym shoes every day? Both sides of the friction coin lead to different results.

For those two examples it’s very clear and obvious how you can make completing a bad habit harder and a good habit easier. Get rid of the sweets in your house and you will increase the friction between you and eating sweets. Put your shoes in an easy-to-access place right by where your home gym setup is and you’ll be more likely to workout.

These examples are surrounded all throughout our life and cause us to procrastinate on doing what’s good for us or allow us to keep performing habits we don’t want to be doing. For me, I’m trying to increase the friction of biting my nails by holding a coin in my hand at all times. This coin has the serenity prayer on it and reminds me of what it means to do things in my control.

Also from a practical standpoint putting my fingers in my mouth after holding a metal coin doesn’t sit well with me for some reason. It, therefore, increases the friction of my wanting to put my fingers in my mouth.

Now it could be a small thing, but for me, I find there are a near-infinite number of examples we can find to increase and decrease friction to improve our lives. Find those friction points and leverage that power for yourself and you’ll have a force greater than you think on your side.

Have an awesome week!

  • Demetri

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