25 Oct, 2022

The Ugly Truth of Bad Habits


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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Habits shape our identity. It is our survival mechanism that helps us find ways to evolve by learning. When we learn, we start to exist. However, once we get comfortable, we stop evolving. There are good habits and there are those which limit us from having a more successful, fulfilling life.

How have your habits affected your existence? Have the routines you have instilled in you pushed you to greater heights or have they contributed to your downfall? Be attentive as I disclose how the things you frequently do can impact your future and thus take steps to reinvent yourself for the better.


⚡️ Either pain or the possibilities that exist lead you to change.

⚡️ People tend to revert to unpleasant habits, to what is familiar to them, and sacrifice bigger wins for smaller ones which give temporary gratification.

⚡️ True long-term thinking is about thinking about who you aspire to be.

⚡️ The cost of your good habits is in the present, but your cost of bad habits is in the future, since they do not serve the person you want to be.

🔥 Bad habits lead to:

  • procrastination and rumination
  • financial struggles
  • health problems
  • form addictions to things
  • frustrations, anxieties, and depression
  •  failure to turn your aspirations into realities

Important stories:

🎯 8:21 Jim Rohn talks about watching tv

🎯 19:56 My work with them until they were able to create their turf

🎯 21:08 James Clear speaks on clarity

Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


Change your habits the fun, easy, and simple way. Download the Stop One Start One Habit Tracker app now!

Set your intentions, stop the habits that have limited you, and start living the great life you have always wanted. Take advantage of the great features anywhere you go.

This app allows you to

  • have as many habits stops and start as you want
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  • share your progress with others
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  • learn insights from training videos and courses
  • keep a journal to record your adventure and track your progress
  • write letters to your future self to help you form that much-needed relationship with the person you are becoming
  • join different challenges and groups

What’s more, it’s FREE for the first 14 days –  so try it now!

Here’s the link:

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I help everyday people achieve their goals & dreams!   Helping and coaching people in my expertise. And it is VERY satisfying to change people’s lives so they improve and change their health, finances, relationships, confidence, and mindset.

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About Pete Cohen: Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.

Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.

Pete Cohen  0:00

Hey let's press to see if this works yeah

bear with


Happy beautiful day. It is the Future Self podcast. It is Pete Cohen here. Today's podcast is called the Ugly Truth About Your Bad Habits. I'll see you after the theme tune


Happy Beautiful Day thank you for joining me for the podcast today we're talking all things habits. This is a subject I love to talk about. And I was reflecting this morning as I often do getting up at the wee early hours of the morning up at four o'clock. And I knew that I wanted to prepare, prepare, prepare for this podcast and I was looking at some of the books some of the books I've written and you know, I wrote a book in 2003 called habit busting and I'd like to think I was a bit of a pioneer in this space because I kind of went first there have been some great books that have been written on this subject atomic habits by James clear. There's Charles Duhigg book on habits there's Superhuman by Habit, but I like to think you know what I was the one one of the first people to go first but really I wasn't because it was Aristotle that you know, spoke 1000s of years ago about excellence is not an app excellence is a habit you are what you repeatedly do. I love to talk about this subject because I think it's just fascinating to think about what we do, and the biggest impact on our life. The most important thing that we will ever do in our lives is to is to look at our habits if you look at what human beings can do. The biggest influence we have on everything is our habits. But I want to just look at this subject with you and give you maybe a different perspective of it. We've done podcasts on this before but you know for me I'm ever evolving ever learning. And there are some new things and different perspectives I would like to share with you. So first off, let me ask you a question. Do we have habits in the first place? Now what is the point of a habit? Well, there are different theories around this. But the theory I like is that, you know habits are basically our survival mechanism. There's human beings. The only reason that we're here today is that we found a way to evolve we found a way to evolve by learning certain things like learning how to make fire, which I don't imagine is particularly easy to do if you've never done it before. But if you've done it a few times, and then you do it a few times more well guess what you get really good at it. You know, and what else has man become really good at doing? Man has become really good at coming up with ideas and then make things happen through habits but really, I think the point of habits is so that you can forget something and then learn something else. I believe we're learning machines and human beings are at their best when we're learning. Once we stop learning, we just start existing when we're existing. I think we fall for temptation. We just get very comfortable. And we stop evolving. And I really do want to ask all of you a question what will be your greatest ever achievement in your life? Will be you're not my husband. You're not a husband? You're still here, right? What will be? Is it possible that the greatest achievement of your life will be who you become. So why do we have habits well to survive? Why do we also have habits Well, mainly to conserve energy as well? Energy conserving machines and unless you have a reason to use energy, you'll find a reason to conserve it. And this is really important, so important that I cannot even emphasize it. And even if I tried to emphasize it in words, I don't know whether the words would do it justice. I really don't because I think it's beyond words. To explain that if you don't have a big enough reason for getting out of bed every single day that drives you. You will succumb to temptation you will succumb to procrastination to making excuses. And ultimately, up to you are an energy saving machines. That's what we are. You've got the habit of not wanting to do things that expend energy that you don't see a result on your investment. You don't see a result on the investment of exercising or meditating or writing whatever it is, but good luck in doing it for an extended period of time. And some of I'm going to say it might hit quite hard but you know, sometimes as a coach, my coaches especially one used to hit me quite hard. With not literally not like Will Smith hitting Chris Rock. For those of you that just saw that as he crossed the line. But ultimately there's always a line and what gets people to cross the line of changing their habits is sometimes something happens that sparks something that goes nuts enough. I'm fed up and fed up with this abuse. I'm fed up with this weight,


I'm fed up, I don't like this. I've been diagnosed with something I'm fed up, I want to change and that pushes people to often change their habits, but it never lasts. I don't think it lasts for most people most of the time. And you know what drives people to change is pain. That's what I'm talking about here the spark and I think other people are in pain or people are uncertain or people are frightened. A lot of people are stuck. A lot of people are frustrated and angry. And if you feel that what do you want to do? I mean, how many people do you know they go, I'm feeling so frustrated is brilliant. I love this or I'm feeling bored, or lonely, or whatever it is when we feel something, our brain will immediately want to get us out of that pain. We don't like to be in pain. So then there'll be a cue there'll be a craving there'll be a response and there'll be a reward and that's what we do that's what happens for example with social media you know, there's there's a, there's something of some form of discomfort. Oh, I know what I'll do. I'll look at my phone and there's a craving to do it there's a response like a hit of dopamine and maybe there is a reward that someone likes your posts on Instagram or Tik Tok. Or it's the same with you know, you feel pain. So the queue to you know, to think more glass of wine, Oh, that'd be nice. And then you drink and then you feel the reward. And I'm not saying any of those things are bad, but what is the long term cost of those behaviors? I mean, literally what is the long term cost? And I think honestly, a lot of people are in denial about a lot of these things. Because when you have a belief and you don't have evidence of that belief, you know what that's called? That's called a delusion. And if we could wake up to the fact that everything we're doing today everything we do today is casting a vote for the future that we want. But for any of you that listen to me, you'll know that I've been talking a lot about this probably over the last couple of years. That is all about identity. When you're casting a vote who you casting a vote for I think most people are casting a vote for someone they don't want to be. I honestly think this that most people and I've got evidence of this from speaking to lots of people, one of the most curious people you ever meet in your life is a lot of people are living a future that they don't want. But it's because they don't relate to that future. You know, you all know what happens in Dickens is Scrooge that when Scrooge is woken up to the reality of how his future might turn out is extremely motivated to not make that happen to create something better. What about you? Because Are you a procrastinator? I've been talking about this recently how, you know, I don't like war. I don't like conflict. But what about the conflict in you know the procrastination? Are you a procrastinator? You're a ruminator you can just say I am a procrastinator and see how you feel. I think I am I've got evidence of that. I'm a ruminate. I get over and over and over things and, you know, don't actually do anything. I get distracted very easily. I'm making excuses. I'm a TV watcher. You know, I watch them on TV. In fact, someone sent me the other day this video which I thought was really amazing. This is a this is someone called Jim Rohn. You might have heard of him.


I knew he was a TV one. Television is my opinion not always wanted, what? You know, these are the types of things that when we decide to live our lives and maybe not judge them, maybe not criticize them. Just be curious, because I think we're hard on ourselves enough. I'm definitely not saying this to you because I want to be hard on you. I'm saying it to you because I care about you. And I care about the votes that you're casting into your future. Now it's very easy to take what I'm saying and go, oh dear, I feel even worse. Well, that's not what I'm saying. As far I'm saying, Hey, you can either be driven by where you are and a desire for comfort. You can be driven by pain and desperation. Or you could also be driven by the possibilities that exist for you to become someone completely different to who you are right now. So let's think about this. Where is the greatest influence in your life? Ask it honestly. Is it luck? Is it is it good fortune, is it talent? Is it genes? What is it or is it habits? I know this for almost literally what I'd say least 20 years of really focusing on the subject of habits, the greatest proportion of your life, you can influence the greatest portion of your life that you can influence is habits. Right? So if you look at your bank account right now, it basically is it's under the agging measure of your financial habits. If you look at your waistline, it's a lagging measure of your eating habits, your exercise habits. It's not the outcome. You know, this is so fascinating. I love I love talking to this. It's the habits that precede these outcomes. So you know, you might look at your room and think I was you know, I need to tidy my room so you you tidy your room because it's messy. Then what happens? Chances are you'll go back to the habits that may remit in the first place. I want to lose weight Okay, great. You lose weight then more people will go back to the processes they had before. He said it's again every act is a vote for the person you want to be. You probably know the person that you are right now and what most people do is they recreate the person that they are and small actions go a long way thing is they just don't transform your life now. And if we don't wait, I mean that Steve Jobs famously talked about the fact that he didn't let his children you know, have an iPad or an iPhone because he knew how dangerous it was. And he knows that what they're trying to do and you know our attention is being sold to the highest bidder. We all know that. That to keep our attention away from investing in our future because if you don't invest in your future, what's going to happen? Well, you never have financial security. So what are you going to do? You're going to borrow money that isn't yours. What else are you going to do probably get unhealthy. So you need to take medication that you need to take for maybe for the rest of your life because you haven't changed the ways you know what else? Form addictions to things that you know ultimately, if we look at ourselves and realize where is the power I remember how many remember watching Hema by the power of grace gall. Where is the power because what a lot of people are doing is they're just sacrificing bigger wins for smaller wins that lead to some temporary gratification, but no long term gratification. So you know, we talk about this a lot. What is the impact of the internal story, the story that you're telling yourself? What are you telling yourself because we know your habits shape your identity, and I just love to talk about identity. I love it. It's one of my favorite conversations, because the word identity means repeated beingness and most of us just repeat, repeat, repeat what we've been doing. And we wake up every day and then maybe something really bad happens and it forces us to move away. But we go back to the identity we have what will be your greatest ever achievement will it not be who you become? Will it not be that like the shedding of the skin or just the shedding of something that you don't need that you become someone who is almost completely unrecognizable to the person that you were? Has that already not happened anyway. And you're not different to who you were 10 510 1520 years ago? really different? Not just the way that you look because you're getting older, but are you getting wiser or different? Are you how many different things do you do now that you didn't do? You've transformed but how much of that was conscious? How much of it was conscious


of the golf students I work with? Some of them have just finished five years of playing golf and studying. I said to them, and some of them become great golfers I said how many great human beings How many of you five years ago knew the person you wanted to be? And none of them did? And I know that if they didn't know if I'd been working with them five years ago and I know then what I know now I would have we would have gone to a different place because if you can help someone identify with the person they want to be, it makes dealing with the track the challenges and the frustration that you face along the way a lot easier. You don't rise to the level of your goals but you rise to the level of your systems. And we put the systems in place that allow us to behave in a way that service over an extended period of time. You have a system in place that stops you from behaving in ways that don't serve you. That's why That's why we created the Start One Stop One program or the Start One Stop One program because when we originally launched this thing, we called it the stock one stock one and then a few people just said Hang on a second. I don't think I think you've got that the wrong way around. Let's stop first. Come on. Let's stop. Let's look at what's going on before we start doing something and they start moving away and you haven't actually looked to go look what's going on behind the scenes. Chances are you'll go on repeat so I'm just ready. I'm ready to help more people than I ever have done in my entire life as we create a movement of people all around the world who are moving towards the identity they want to create. Because you know what? How many of you that listening to this you want to write a book, want to run a marathon? Want to build a business but I'd say the real goal is not to write a book. goal is to become a writer. The goal is not to become a marathon to finish a mountain the goal is to become a runner. You're adopting the identity and you are behaving in alignment with the person you want to be. I mean, just think about if you wanted to if you wanted to get a role in you know, to be an actor in a film you have to take on the role you you align yourself to the character that you're playing. And if you started behaving in a different way, the director would go hang on what you're doing. That's not the script, the script that you're writing. We talk about this a lot, but I'm gonna say it again, what is the relationship you have to your future? I never had a relationship to my future that was beyond a few weeks and months. I'm lucky I'm very enthusiastic. I have a lot of energy. So you know, I never I've never run short of that. But what I do run short of his direction, so that I would do loads of stuff, but where is it going? You know, who are you going to be in, you know, as a child, we say, you know, what do you want to be when you grow up and children would like to ask that question, but then they often go to school and they kind of lose sight of their imagination. My wife watches something on Facebook with these that I think there's six little children. They're all brothers and sisters, you know, whatever you would call that. Twins times three or whatever. And she's been watching for years and they're at that age now where they're just using their imagination. They're starting to make things up that we can't see, but they can see in their mind. If you really put your imagination to it, who could you become, other than buying into the BS of well, you know, you can't do that because you're this type of personality or you can't do that because of your past or you can't do that because of the story that you're telling yourself. We can't do that because of your environment. Now and I'm realizing this more and more that goals goals are good right having gods they give you a good sense of direction and clarity. True long term thinking is goal less thinking you're not thinking about the goals you're thinking about who you aspire to be because the biggest returns are always delayed. You know, we want this instant life instant this instant coffee instant credit. Do LOVE Instant coffee though, especially if it's mixed with the powerful mushroom that I consume every single day. But that's another story. Are you ready to make some sacrifice for the person that you want to become?


To the cost of your good habits? They're in the presence of bad habits or in the future? So when we when we think about the ugly truth about your bad habits, it's just facing up to the fact that oh, don't worry, it's just another glass of wine or just another piece of chocolate. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, it's not that in many cases, maybe not you. But it's like taking a very small bit of arsenic every single day won't kill you. If you keep doing it. You will end up being in a place that you don't want to be just go to any hospital and walk around and see the amount of people in that hospital are there because of the ugly truth about their their habits. You could say they're bad or good or they're just are they nourishing? Are they serving your future? So who do you desire to be? Because the ultimate form I believe of intrinsic or internal gratification? The reaffirmation the RE affirmation the reaffirming of your desired identity. So we created step one, start one to help you look at where are you now where do you want to be? Where do you want to be with your health, your energy, your relationships, your wealth and your work? Who's that person who is that person? And if you want to be that person What's one thing if you stopped doing it if you stopped it, stop the greatest impact on your life. The one thing what just imagine if you stopped it, and every time you stopped it when Yes, and you recorded it because we'll give you a coin with the technology we've created and we call it identity help you identify with who you want to be and help you create what's known as identity capital. You see the return on your investment. Every time you you stopped something. So that's that's like me that's like me every time you do something he knows good for you. You say that's like me that eventually think about this. Imagine I used to work with people. I was a personal trainer for years people used to come to the gym and they'd look like a complete you know, rabbit with caught in headlights. I would work with them. To eventually they came in and they get this is my turf. This is my domain. This is my territory. This is my backyard. You know the wolf that walks around in wherever its territory that keeps walking. It keeps walking. It keeps walking. Okay. Yes it urinates as well. I'm not suggesting you do that. But it's creating its turf, creating his turf by its printing every single day. And of course, if you want to advance join a group where the desired behavior is the normal behavior. People tend to just go back to what is normal and familiar to them and right. If you want to do that, then that of course that's your choice, isn't it? I mean, ultimately, that's the most fascinating thing about human beings is the choices that we make every single day. And while we're on the subject of James clear because I want to acknowledge James clear his book atomic habits and the work that he's done is amazing. If I'd read his book before I started working on mine, it would have massively influenced but I've got James clear in the studio James, what would you like to say?


Yeah, so stop waiting for feeling something stop waiting. I'll do it. You know when I'm ready. Well, When's that going to be? When was the best time to plant a tree? Well you probably heard that before people says 20 years ago. Next best time. Well, when's that? Now? Just I don't know what your biggest takeaway is from what you've heard today, but I'd love to know. Only just got started 52 in May. I've only just got started. Empower people just like you to look at themselves in the mirror and go come in for you, pursuing you. Helping people go beyond the science that shows that when people think of themselves six months a year in the future, they don't know who that person is. If you don't know who that person is, you'll never have empathy for that person. have empathy for the person that you want to be and start behaving in a way because your future self. The more you build a relationship to your future self, the better you will be the more you realize that your future self is saying yes to things that you're saying no to. And your future self is saying no to things you're saying yes to. Everything will change. Be the change that you want to see in the world. We see what's going on in the world right now. More wars more destruction or who can we be? I think one of the biggest answers to the world's problems is us deciding who we need to be that the greatest impact and that's why I created step one start one which will be a global it already is a global movement because there are people on it. There are all over the world. And what do you get when you join? First off, it's free for two weeks anyway. So if you don't resonate with it, and for the first two weeks and then then go away, it's not for you, or I'm not the right person or it's not the right time or it's the wrong system. I don't know. But when you join, we will give you the master classes that will help you and you get my 30 Day Program which James Peters who is one of my idols, and my perfect avatar has done that program. 29 times excellent is not an act excellence. Habit. You are what you repeatedly do. You are what you repeatedly think And the greatest thing we can do is reinvent. So not only do you get those masterclasses not only do you get an app that helps you in doing what you say you're going to do. Starting what you want to start stopping what you stopped want to stop and seeing the evidence build up. Plus we have a telegram group. Plus we're going to have ongoing content plus we've developed some powerful meditations to help you go and meet your future self. And what might selling you here. Am I selling you something? Of course I'm selling you something. Am I selling you something you can afford? When it's free for two weeks and then it's seven pounds a month? Can you afford seven pounds a month? Or would you rather keep paying your Netflix subscription? But there's anything wrong with that? Your subscription to Sky Sports is funny. This week I'm presenting at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and I'm going to wear my arsenal hat. Some people would say would be disrespectful because they're the great rivals in sport. I'm just going to make the point of if you were a Tottenham fan, would you support arsenal? No you wouldn't. If I paid you a million pounds. I know a lot of Arsenal fans. There's no amount of money I could pay them because they've subscribed to who they are and who they're always going to be. You can make a different payment a different subscription to our future self and I'm just excited to work with anyone that wants to go out and do the greatest thing you'll ever do, which is who you decide to become. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to the podcast today. And if I can help you and support you in any way, I will. If you're prepared to take a step I'll take a step with you go to S one S one dot m e and see for yourself and let's gamify your life. Thank you so much for listening. You guys are amazing. A great life. It doesn't happen by chance it happens by design.


Wow I can't actually believe that that worked.


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