We Have Habits Because the Brain is Lazy


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I know it sounds crazy to say this but we are hardwired to be lazy. And we have our brains to blame.

The fact is, the human brain is lazy.

Or, looking at it another way, the brain finds ways of doing things that make it work less. That’s why we have habits.

Habits enable the brain to work less. There is no conscious thinking involved. Habits put us on autopilot.

This is a good thing if you have far more good habits than bad habits and a very bad thing if you have far more bad habits than good habits.

The vast majority of the human population has far more bad habits than good habits. This is why we have so many struggling with poverty, an obesity epidemic, increased incidence of type II diabetes, infidelity, harmful addictions (drugs, alcohol and gambling for example), racial discrimination and all sorts of other social ills.

When too many individuals have too many bad habits, it affects all of society. So, good habits improve everyone’s life, not just your own.

The commander in chief of lazy, inside our brain, is called the basal ganglia.

The basal ganglia is tasked by the brain with creating and triggering habits.

The brain wants more habits – the more the merrier.


The brain is an energy hog. It uses 20% of all of the entire body’s glucose and oxygen. Without habits, the brain’s fuel needs would be inadequate. Brain activity would be forced to slow down. When brain activity slows, it sends a message to the rest of the body to go to sleep or rest.

Without habits we would need to take numerous naps during our busy work days.

Habits make it possible for us to function for long stretches of time, without the need for rest. So, habits are wonderful things.

The brain likes habits so much that 40% or more of all of our behaviors, thinking, emotions and decision-making are habitual.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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