How to train yourself like you train your dog

Now, this is going to seem like I’m going off-topic here, but bear with me for a second.

I want to talk to you about dogs.

## Dog Training ##

I read a lot about habits, particularly from Steve Pavlina. The act of working out what habit you want and embedding it deep in your psyche and muscle memory is really cool, and it’s a technique that has applications from martial arts to human-computer interaction (I will regularly teach myself a new UI trick by doing it over and over and over again to really embed it in my psyche – things like adding a new snippet to textexpander through the services menu).

This has similarities with how you go about training a dog, or at least from my understanding of it, never having owned one myself: you get a dog to do something over and over again and it’ll embed itself into the animal’s psyche just as effectively, and it’ll soon be house-trained or learn to beg or able to sing along to Mr Lonely.

What’s my point here? When a dog does a good thing you treat it, give it something to eat, stroke it, make it feel good and really get that positive reinforcement going. That’s what we all need to do when enforcing these things: not just being hard on ourselves and working through discipline, but really getitng those positive associations to work well.

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