The system I use to avoid bad habits

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My friend Andreas came over from Sweden a few days ago. He works with me here in NYC.

His visit makes me really happy – and it’s so fun spending time with him and working together on something I love.

SocialPro has grown so much the last year. All in all, we are now 7 people in “Team SocialPro” and over 1000 new participants join our free training every month.

None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for you.

This all reminds me of a great mindset a friend (thanks Simon!) taught me a while ago.

It’s called the SorcC model. (Translated from Swedish.) It stands for:

Situation – Organism – Reaction – consequence – Consequence

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It has helped me through rough times with SocialPro, but also in everyday social interaction.

Here’s how this system works to avoid bad habits:

Throughout life, we end up in different situations. Some of them make us feel bad. They create an effect in us, as an organism. (It’s called organism as a reminder that we are affected emotionally by things that happen to us. We can’t control how the organism feels.)

This causes a reaction. We CAN control this reaction.

Our reaction almost always has two consequences. One short-term and one long-term.

Here’s an example:

Say that you have the opportunity to go meet up with a bunch of new people. (Situation)

Maybe this makes you feel anxious. (Organism)

You now have the choice of how to react to this situation. (Reaction)

One choice is to stay home. It results in a short-term positive consequence. (It’s nice to just be home and chill). But it also has a long-term consequence (You miss out on making new friends and getting to know interesting people).

Whenever I have to react to a situation, I try to balance the short-term and the long-term consequences. That often makes me react in a different way than if I would only think about the short-term consequence.

There have been many situations in SocialPro where I could have done the short-term nice thing (Like taking a normal job when everything felt hopeless). But today, I’m very grateful that the previous me considered the long-term consequences when I reacted to all those situations.

This doesn’t mean that you should fool yourself and always do what’s hard. Sometimes, the right choice is to take that normal job or to stay home and watch Netflix. You just want to keep an eye on the long-term consequences.

It helps to visualize the future.

Should I take this week off? *Visualizes how that will make me one week behind*

Should I stay home again? *Visualizes spending more and more weekends alone*

Should I buy a pizza now again? *Visualizes the future overweight me*

This is why it’s spelled SorcC. Even if the long-term consequence is further away, it’s often the one with the biggest impact.

What do you think about SorcC? I’m excited to hear in the comments!

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David Morin is the founder of SocialPro. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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2 thoughts on “The system I use to avoid bad habits”

  1. Interesting point. SorcC as in Situation-Organism-Reaction-consequence-Consequence.

    Interesting that the first consequence has a lower-case c whereas the second Consequence has a capital C. I assume the second Consequence refers to long-term Consequences which is generally more significant to us as humans than short-term consequences.

    It seems also that as humans, the automatic reaction is to go with short-term consequences. It thus takes some awareness and subsequently self-control to go more with what’s best for long-term consequences.

    SorcC and long-term consequences is something I’ll have in mind more, hopefully, from now on.


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