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We’re at the end of the positive laws: #4 Make It Satisfying.
This chapter struck me as a little wordy, but it’s worth a read.
The brain just isn’t any good at understanding time. Delayed gratification (and delayed punishment) isn’t much of a motivator.
What if you made your habit both immediately gratifying and rewarding in the long run?
Some examples from the chapter are choosing a toothpaste that tastes good, saving cash so you can see it growing, and saving towards tangible goals (a vacation or a jacket).
[L]et’s update the Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change:
What is immediately rewarded is repeated.
What is immediately punished is avoided.
I actually just started doing this as part of my productivity system. I’ve gamified my day. I do work. I get points. So far, so incredibly good.
Clear doesn’t mention this but Fun and Misery are on the same spectrum. Not every habit/task can be made fun. But your odds of success go up even if you only make the task less miserable. Less friction is always better.