Of Daemon’s and Demons
Familiar, Petronus, Spirit Guide or Daemon. They all represent a good facet of ourselves, separate yet interconnected and working in tandem with us for our benefit.
Your Habit Daemon is this.
When devising Habit Daemon, I wanted to harness the power of gamification, yet I didn’t want to create an overcomplicated App that would end up being another means of procrastination.
I decided on creating one character that would act as a source of motivation and encouragement. It would be conversational, requiring no complicated interface. On the Daemon Screen there is just the Daemon and the text of it’s speech.
One of the challenges of making significant changes in your life is that it can be isolating. Even friends and family members can unwittingly undermine your efforts. It is not that they mean to be unkind, but often they just can’t believe you will change, and their lack of belief can infect your own confidence. Change can also make others uncomfortable, your friends who don’t exercise may gently mock your new exercise habits, through their own insecurities.
Your Daemon is a non-judgemental friend. It will remind you when you are falling behind and encourage your efforts. This is a perfect symbiotic relationship, in that the better you stick to your habits and build your habit chains, the more your Daemon will grow and develop.
The nurturing aspect of looking after another being, is also a good motivator for people who typically don’t prioritise their own advancement over others.
Why Daemon though?
Deciding on a Daemon for this character was twofold:
Firstly the beautifully and cunningly imagined Daemon’s of Phillip Pullman’s epic Trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’, with their strong interdependence to their humans.
Secondly the programming meaning of Daemon:
In multitasking computer operating systems, a daemon is a computer program that runs as a background process, rather than being under the direct control of an interactive user.
This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with habits! Good behaviours that are carried out instinctively.
(By the way, the source of the naming of this computer process derives from ‘Maxwell’s Demon’, an imaginary being from a thought experiment that constantly works in the background, sorting molecules.)
But aren’t Daemon’s evil?
Hell no! Daemon is the Latin word for the Ancient Greek daimon which originally referred to spirit or divine power, often a guiding spirit such as in the works of Plato, where it describes the divine inspiration of Socrates.
On the other- sinister- hand, Demon is a supernatural being in Christian mythology, typically associated with evil.They live in Sunnydale.
Make your Daemon stronger and it can kick a Demon’s ass.