But Some Things are NOT a Matter of Perspective.
“Perhaps you’ve heard it said that if you want to form a new habit—say, flossing your teeth or exercising regularly—all you have to do is perform that act for 21 days in a row, and presto! The desired behavior becomes automatic.”
“That, my friend, is a steaming pile of horse and dog shit, all mashed together and stirred to a pungent paste. This ’21 days’ notion is a distorted version of something that a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz once wrote. In his 1960 book Psycho-Cybernetics, Maltz observed that it took roughly 21 days for his patients to start adjusting to their new appearances. He then proposed that this also applied in certain other situations, such as getting used to living in a new home.”
“With the aid of various authors, motivational speakers and self-help gurus, Maltz’ statement—which, by the way, was about habituation, not habit formation—took on some serious nips and tucks as it traveled from mind to mind. In the public imagination, 21 became the magic number for habit-building of all types. Countless 21-day habit challenges were soon spawned, not to mention books with titles like ’21 Days Building Healthy Habits for Your Family’ and ‘The 21 Day Miracle: How to Change Anything in 3 Short Weeks.’”
– Damon Orion, Dec. 29, 2022.
NOTE: Although habit and habituation have a similar sound, they have different meanings. Habituation refers to a decrease in response to a stimulus.