Crafting identity

• 1 min read

Reading James Pierce's book Atomic Habits has completely opened my eyes to the idea of identity based habits, rather than objective based habits.

Identity based habits are things that you do, because that's who you are. I'm a runner, therefore I run.

Objective based habits are things that you do in pursuit of an outcome. I signed up for a half-marathon next month, therefore I will go for a run.

The former is sustainable. It's something that you'll do indefinitely, as long as your identity persists. The latter is finite. You'll be devoted until the objective is met, but then what?

Your identity drives what you do, and the habits that you keep. But the opposite is true, as well. You get to choose your identity at the same time, by building habits that support it. It's a flywheel of self.

Objectives are not bad, though. It's still valuable to strive for things, push you to reach new heights, to feel good, to focus, and to deliver. To look forward to something. These methods are not exclusive, though. You can use both.

Habits are your implement for building the identity you want. We all strive for control over ourselves, to be able to steer our ship toward the destiny of our choosing. Habits are an avenue for you to do that.

← Comparisons
How to build the right thing for the right people →

Subscribe to Shane Neubauer

Subscribe to the newsletter and unlock access to member-only content.

You've successfully subscribed to Shane Neubauer
Welcome! You are now a Shane Neubauer subscriber.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! You are now a paying member and have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.