How I Overcame TV Addiction, Reclaimed My Life and Gained Two Months Per Year

“In its easy provision of relaxation and escape, television can be beneficial in limited doses. Yet when the habit interferes with the ability to grow, to learn new things, to lead an active life, then it does constitute a kind of dependence and should be taken seriously.”

From “Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor”
— By Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi —

I have no way to prove this, but I’m sure it’s true: nobody on their deathbed ever wished they’d spent more time watching television. Life is short, and there are far too many activities that are more important and fulfilling than sitting in front of a television for hours on end. That’s not to suggest you should stop watching TV altogether. But I’ve come to see it as something best placed at the edge of life, rather than the center.

The Habit Loop – Use This Simple Framework to Help Break Your Bad Habits

If you’re anything like me, you have at least 1 or 2 bad habits that you’d like to change. In this short video, bestselling author Charles Duhigg shares what he calls “the habit loop.”

According to Duhigg, every habitual behavior involves three elements:

  • Cue – some sort of trigger that makes the behavior unfold automatically.
  • Routine – the behavior itself.
  • Reward – the benefit derived from engaging in the behavior.

As he describes so well in this video, if you want to break a bad habit, the trick is to learn to recognize the Cue, and replace the undesired behavior (Routine) with a more desirable behavior that delivers a similar Reward.

This is a simple – but powerful – framework for understanding habitual behavior and how to change it. For more, see The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.

21 Motivational Quotes to Help You Overcome Your TV Addiction

Also see my popular article on How I Overcame TV Addiction and Reclaimed My Life.

“The more television you watch, the more you see people who seem richer than you. Research shows that you will then overestimate the income of real people, and underestimate the value of your own. So the more television you watch, the more dissatisfied with yourself you become. You’ll also spend more money: By one estimate, you’ll spend an extra four dollars per week for every hour of television you watch. Of course, television is about drama, which means violence, infidelity, and amoral behavior, and you end up overestimating the frequency of these things in real life. You may conclude that the world is less safe than it actually is, and decide that you’d better stay home and watch more television.”

— From Rewire by Richard O’Connor

“The mood state Americans are in, on average, when watching television is mildly depressed.”

— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“People have romantic notions about television. In the highest realms they think it’s some sort of art medium, and it’s not. Others think it’s an entertainment medium, it’s not that either. It’s an advertising medium. It’s a method to deliver advertising like a cigarette is a method to deliver nicotine.”

— Bill Maher