MetaStable and PermanentlyStable Habits

Reading lifehacking articles online makes us believe that a successful and happy life is all about acquiring popular and seemingly beneficial habits like reading books, working out, sleeping for 8 hours, meditating and continuing with them.

We also like to believe that once an act is converted into a habit there is not much effort required to pursue it. It becomes automatic.

But there is more to it. 

Even when it becomes automatic there is a time investment and also the effort that goes into maintaining that habit. And, we only have so much room in our lives for habits.

That is why if we acquire too many habits over a long period we do it at the cost of ‘not’ acquiring new habits. This cost may be big because our happiness also comes from trying out new things and learning more about ourselves in the process.

That is why it makes sense to think of habits as meta-stable as compared to permanently stable. And, to allow ourselves room and mental space to try out new experiences and habits.

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