The ultimate guide for Libyan Habit
Imagine that you are driving your car in Benghazi’s streets. You are approaching a traffic light. You want to turn left. And you find the left lane is full of cars, and probably you will miss the green light for the fist time if you stand in the left lane, so you have to wait a little bit longer. At the same time, the middle lane and the right lane are empty. Here, you could choose one of the two choices:
You keep your car in the left lane, waiting for the green light even though you will miss the first one. In this case, you are following the regulations.
You choose to go to the middle or right lane. Standing there and waiting for the green light. Even though you are not following the regulations, and that causes disorganization in the traffic movement.
Usually, I do the second choice without thinking. Suddenly, I find myself standing in the wrong lane. I’m just following my habit, not the rules. Many times, when I’m totally aware, I force myself to stand in the left lane where I should turn left.
THE LIBYAN HABIT:
I notice that more than 95% of Libyans do the second choice. They do that unthinkingly. They do that without thinking. Their auto pilot is taking their action without any permission. In other words, their habit is taking the control.
THE POWER OF HABIT:
I have become interested with the idea of habit. Habits could be good or bad. I started digging deep about the psychology of habit especially for Libyan habit. I could identify thousands of bad habits.For example, throughing trashes out of the window while they are driving.
I start looking for more information about the habit. Then, Boom, I found a really good book. The Power of Habit book is really interesting, entertaining, and informative book. I have spent more than 3 weeks reading it. In this topic, I will try to overlay what I have got from the book and the reality of Libyan habit.
THE HABIT LOOP:
Charles Duhigg, the author of the book, explains the habit as a loop contains three parts. The first part is the cue or the trigger, which is the reason that you do things. The second part is the routine, which is the thing you do. The third part is the reward, which is what you win or get after doing things.
For more explanations, think about the smoking habit. People who smoke usually feel they want to smoke when they angry, tired, stressed, or depressed. So, they flame a cigarette. This is the cue. During the smoking they do the second things which is the routine. After they start to smoke they feel relief, which is the reward part. So, every time they feel anything, they think about smoking. They do that many times over and over.This is the structure of the habit.
Duhigg thinks most people think about habit as the only routine. However, once you identify the habit loop, you are half way to change it.
LIBYAN HABIT LOOP:
Let me apply the habit loop on my first example of the habit of the traffic light. Once you approach the traffic light, you see the left lane is full of cars. That is the cue. The fullness of cars is the trigger that you don’t want to take longer time stopping at the light. Once you move to the other lanes, the right lane for example, you will establish the routine. If the light traffic becomes green, and you would go faster than people who stand in the left lane. That is the reward part, the third part of the loop. Doing these steps many times and everyday, you became unaware of this habit. That’s our behavior, but our brain is turn off. That’s exactly what happen in Libya.
THE HABIT OF THE WHOLE CITY:
Wake up Benghazi is a blog that deal with issues related to Benghazi. If we understand the root of any problem, we could find the cure. The habit of Benghazi is basically based on the collective amount of individual habits. In other words, any city is basically a huge habit consists of many habits.
Many time you hear some people say that city is more genius than that city. For example, I hear many people say the people New York City are mean. We are talking here about the whole city. One habit could be repeated among the people. One way behavior becomes habitual is through repetition.
In my first example, the traffic light, we could see this habit widespread in Benghazi streets. So, anyone who live out of Benghazi could notice this habit through any traffic light. Keeping doing this habit will result chaos within the city. The most difficult thing, people start do not realize that as a chaos. They start understand this as a good thing.
CHANGING BENGHAZI HABIT:
We all now know the city is basically a huge formation of habit. To change the habit of any city, we have to change the people’s habit who live within the city. However, it’s so hard to do that. Or, it’s impossible to change everyone.
Charles in his book gives some interesting facts on how we change the organization habit. To change the whole city, we have to change the keystone habit. The keystone habit is a powerful habit that if it changed, it could make different and change the other habits. This reaction called the chain reaction. If you change something, it changes the other things.
For example, If we assume that wearing the seat belt is a keystone habit. If we make the people wear it everyday through repetition until it becomes a habit. This habit will change people perception to the social norms. For sure, their driving habit will get better. People will start following the rules on the roads, then they will change the other things such as not throughing trashes out of the windows in streets.
Charles gives an example of the keystone habit in his book. A man who became the CEO of one the biggest companies in metal industry. The only thing this man address in his new challenge was the safety habit. By reducing the amount of people who everyday get injury to zero percent. This man wanted everyone to be in perfect health. The safety habit changed the employee perception to the company. They have changed for better. Their productivity increased, and the profit of the company have increased.
Finding the Keystone habit is the most important part to change Benghazi habit. To change the keystone habit, we need to indentify the cue, routine, and the reward. Then, we can change the routine by using the same cue and getting the same reward.
Usually a great tragedy can change the habit. For example, the revolution have changed some habits in Libya. People became more aware of their rights. However, the revolution generated new bad habits.
My thought on the keystone habit for Libya is the self regulation. If we push up this habit among people, we could gain the reaction chain for other things. We should follow the notion Fake it until you make it.
Charles gave many examples on how you implement the keystone habit among the people. By sandwich it among other things. To influence people to do something good, we need to add the recipe of the good habit between other normal things. Make the new habit familiar without noticing.
How we could do that? How we change the Libyan habit without make them thinking about it?
This is the question need to be address to everyone lives in Libya. Some people says by education. Some people says by applying the technology. And I think by the self regulation.
The habit is what we do unconsciously. Changing the habit could be easy or complicated. However, once we identify the habit and we become eager and welling to change it, you are on the way to change it.
Let me know your thinking. I know you are exhausted of reading this long blog topic. But your thought is important to everyone. Please don’t hesitate commenting in the comment section below.