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By Tom Corley

We Have Habits Because the Brain is Lazy

I know it sounds crazy to say this but we are hardwired to be lazy.

And we have our brains to blame.

The fact is, the human brain is lazy.


Or, looking at it another way, the brain finds ways of doing things that make it work less.

That’s why we have habits.

Habits enable the brain to work less.

There is no conscious thinking involved.

Habits put us on autopilot.

This is a good thing if you have far more good habits than bad habits and a very bad thing if you have far more bad habits than good habits.

The vast majority of the human population has far more bad habits than good habits.

This is why we have so many struggling with poverty, an obesity epidemic, increased incidence of type II diabetes, infidelity, harmful addictions (drugs, alcohol and gambling for example), racial discrimination and all sorts of other social ills.

When too many individuals have too many bad habits, it affects all of society.

Brain Image Made Out Of Little Cogwheels

So, good habits improve everyone’s life, not just your own.

The commander in chief of laziness, inside our brain, is called the basal ganglia.

The basal ganglia are tasked by the brain with creating and triggering habits.

The brain wants more habits – the more the merrier.


The brain is an energy hog.

It uses 20% of all of the entire body’s glucose and oxygen.

Without habits, the brain’s fuel needs would be inadequate.

Brain activity would be forced to slow down. When brain activity slows, it sends a message to the rest of the body to go to sleep or rest.

Without habits, we would need to take numerous naps during our busy work days.

Habits make it possible for us to function for long stretches of time, without the need for rest.

So, habits are wonderful things.

The brain likes habits so much that 40% or more of all of our behaviours, thinking, emotions and decision-making are habitual.

About Tom Corley Tom is a CPA, CFP and heads one of the top financial firms in New Jersey. For 5 years, Tom observed and documented the daily activities of wealthy people and people living in poverty and his research he identified over 200 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots” which culminated in his #1 bestselling book, Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. Visit the website:
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