Love Is The Strongest Medicine: Notes from a Cancer Doctor on Connection, Creativity, and Compassion

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Become A Healthy Habit Hero

Become A Healthy Habit Hero


Is every action we take sort of a habit?

Every last one?

I think so.

“A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

Here’s the billion dollar question.

Is this habit helpful or not?

Does this thing I habitually do nudge me towards love or fear?


Love or fear?

What’s that got to do with it?

What’s love, got to do, got to do with it?

Here we go.

It’s got EVERYTHING to do with it.

Everything you do can fit under nudging towards love or fear.

Every last thought, word, action.




Yep, it’s that simple.

You see, habits are automatic.

Like we’re helpful habit making robots.

And unhelpful habit making robots.

Healthy habits.

Unhealthy habits.

LOVE-based habits.

FEAR-based habits.










But what if each habit is essentially the same?

Even if you say if it is a “good” habit or a “bad” habit?

We’re “good” habit making machines.

And “bad” habit making machines.

You have the power to replace a “bad” habit with a “good” one.



Face it.

Does this habit work for me? Is it helpful for not? Be brutally honest with yourself.

Does it nudge me towards LOVE?

Listen — Observe — Verbalize — Empathize.

Does the habit help you listen to your mind, your body, your soul?

Does the habit help you observe your world, observe your feelings?

Does the habit help you verbalize your truth to those you love?

Does the habit help you empathize with those around you?

If, yes, then EMBRACE.

Be brutally honest with yourself.

Embrace it.

Embrace it if it’s helpful. If it comes from LOVE.

What if the habit nudges you towards FEAR?

Force — Escape — Attack — React.

Does the habit help you force things into your life you don’t really want?

Does the habit help you escape the reality of life, your “problems?”

Does the habit help you attack others around you, judging, evaluating?

Does the habit help you react to even more triggers around you leading to a vicious cycle of FEAR-based trigger, routine, reward, repeat?


Replace it if it’s not helpful.

What are you escaping from by doing this habit?

Go deep on this one.

Replace it.

“Bad” habits usually come from FEAR (Force — Escape — Attack — React)

The last step is SPACE.

Give yourself the space to practice that LOVE-based habit for a few minutes a day.

To replace the FEAR-based habit with the LOVE-based habit.

Trust me, you will change.

You will become more successful at embracing the LOVE-based habit and replacing the FEAR-based habit.

But give yourself SPACE.

It takes time.

Go slow, go small at first.

You can try and see. Let’s pick a random habit.

Hmmm…. do an act of kindness each day.

Does it fit LOVE or FEAR?

Listen: An act of kindness helps me listen to my soul. Loud and clear.

Observe: An act of kindness helps me observe my health. Being kind to my body.

Verbalize: An act of kindness helps me verbalize from the heart to others.

Empathize: An act of kindness helps me get in another’s shoes and make a difference for them.

Force: An act of kindness helps me to not force my views, but to look towards another in need.

Escape: An act of kindness helps me to be more present in life and not escape with mindless eating, TV, judging, evaluating, making others wrong.

Attack: An act of kindness helps me not attack others, but work towards mutual respect.

React: An act of kindness helps me not react to stuff around me, good or bad, but lead to proactive giving of self.

It fits.

In any case, try that habit every day for a month.

Or pick one you’ve been jonesing for.

100% chance you will feel more LOVE in your life.

And less FEAR.

Chances are the results will be more success.

Give it a try.

Microstep: Write these answers down. What is the LOVE-based habit that you’re EMBRACING? What is the FEAR-based habit you’re REPLACING? How are you giving yourself the SPACE to let it marinate? How is more LOVE showing up in your life?