How To Hack Your Behavior – PICNUF Framework

Pill here, the other day I was watching an  interview with Jeff booth who is a very successful tech startup entrepreneur and he brought up a  very interesting idea. That relates to behavior change and building habits you see a couple of  years ago, Jeff attended a conference by one of the world’s leading behavior scientists here he  learned about how companies are designing their apps to be as addictive as possible and these  scientists laid out a special framework that they use to mold human behavior it’s called the PICNUF framework, the PIC part of PICNUF are things that you want to have more of in your app.

 P stands for  positive meaning that it must make you feel good, I stands for immediate meaning that this good feeling must come immediately and C stands for certain meaning that this good feeling must  always come it, must be certain on the other hand. The enough part of PICNUF are things that you want to have less of N stands for negative meaning, that you should avoid what makes you feel bad U stands for uncertain meaning that you should avoid uncertainty and F stands for future consequences, meaning that you should avoid things that are not immediate now how does this framework apply in real life.

 Well Jeff uses the example of smoking, why do people get hooked on smoking well when you smoke you get a dopamine hit that makes you feel good, so that’s the P for positive this good feeling also happens immediately which is the eye  and finally you are sure that you will get this  feeling every single time you smoke which is  the C  for certain smoking uses the pick part of  PICNUF perfectly which is why it’s so addictive. Now the problem is most people will try to quit  smoking by using Nuff they’ll tell themselves, “ Okay, smoking is bad for me it’s going to give me cancer.” And what they’re doing here is they’re focusing on the negative side effects of the action there’s the N for negative on top of that it’s uncertain  whether or not you’re even going to get cancer. Right there’s tons of elderly smokers that never get cancer just because they’re lucky, so that’s  the you for uncertain and finally the consequence of smoking is in the future you’re not going to  get cancer immediately, After you smoke it can  take years and even decades to develop so that’s  the F for future consequence when you use enough  to try to change your habits it almost never works.

  The behavior scientists discovered that the key is  to focus on just the pick you need to replace the  pick with a better pick which basically means you need to replace your bad habit with a good habit  that also fulfills the positive immediate and  certain requirements. Jeff gives a good example of  this in action with a story about his daughter so he was trying to get his four-year-old daughter to  practice the piano and no matter how hard he tried,  he just couldn’t get her to build the habit she would half as all her lessons and you could tell  that she didn’t really enjoy it, so after learning  about the piknuf framework. Jeff decided to sit down and ask her to play something she pressed a couple  of keys with a bunch of attitude and it sounded  terrible but jeff immediately said, “wow, that  was amazing can you show me more of what you’ve learned he essentially gave her a compliment which feels good so that’s the P in PIC on top of that this happened immediately after she played her song so that’s the eye and Jeff continued to  sit with his daughter every day and continue  to compliment her every time after she played. So after a while the reward she got for playing  became certain she would get a compliment which  made her feel good so that’s the C now after a  couple of weeks. Jeff could tell that his daughter, actually started to enjoy playing the piano her  private teacher even said that she learned more in  the past few weeks during her lessons than she had  for the entire past year and of course this became  a habit with ease over time. That’s what happens  when you focus on the pick instead of nuff  now how does this relate to your life well if  you’re someone who is trying to change your  habits you should focus on the pick aspect instead  of going for the nuff which is what most of us  instinctively do.

   Let’s say for example, you’ve been  trying to shake off your bad habit of jerking off .  I feel like most of us approach this using nuff we think to ourselves, “okay, I need to stop doing this  because it’s making me weaker” which is the end for  negative and then we think to ourselves , “okay, if  I’m able to stick to this for a long enough period of time I should be able to improve my social life  and focus at least I hope so” right we’re uncertain  whether or not the benefits will actually come  so that’s the you for uncertainty and finally  all the benefits that do come in the distant   future right you usually don’t see the benefits for at least a couple of days or even weeks.  So that’s the F for future consequence  instead what you want to do is focus on  the pick for example every time you overcome an  urge you could talk to a friend you could tell   them that you just overcame an urge to which  they’ll probably say, good job so that’s the P   this good job also comes immediately. After telling  them that’s the I and it’s also certain assuming    that they’re a good friend that’s the seat now. I’m  not saying that this is going to work for all of  you it’s just something that fits in the pick  framework. So I think has a much higher chance  of working as compared to feeling guilty and  trying to logically convince yourself to abstain  from jerking off what you should do in general is  ask yourself how can I think about behavior change  through the lens of PIC instead of NUF doing  so will allow you to come up with many strategies that you can experiment with and finally let me leave you with one last example of PIC that I’ve observed a couple of weeks ago so there’s this  video that keeps getting recommended to me on  youtube by a guy called James Scholes this video  is basically about how he was able to study for  12 hours every single day for months now of course  this really intrigued me because, I’ve never heard of anyone being able to do that consistently but  if you think about it through the PICNUF framework. It kind of makes sense every time he studies he  live streams it this is a positive experience because people are studying with him posting  positive comments this is also an instant and certain reward because the moment he turns on the  stream he gets a couple of viewers that can cheer him on now I’m not saying that this is the only  reason he was able to pull this off he clearly has a very strong internal desire to succeed and  having a strong y like this is extremely important all I’m saying is that his current live stream  setup made it even easier for him to build this  habit because it uses PIC most people who want  to study approach it with enough if I don’t study I’ll be a failure and my parents will yell at me  that’s the end even if I study I’m not sure if  I’ll do well I’m not sure if I’ll be able to  succeed that’s the you and the benefits from studying won’t come to fruition until the day of  the test which is usually days away that’s the focus on the PIC and not enough so that you can  make certain good habits as addictive as possible    just like those apps that these behavior  scientists have got us all hooked to spend more time on the apps.

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