Blogpost

Using Your Bad for the Good

weightWe’ve all got them.  They lurk around and create mischief in our daily lives but we have trouble letting go of them.  Bad habits.  The things that we realize that we should not do at all or possibly overindulge in them.  There power over us can be based in our childhood, boredom or addiction.  No matter who you are, you’ve probably got a habit, vice, addiction or pattern that is less than favorable.

On the other hand you’ve got those good things that you cannot seem to get yourself to do.  You know it!  If you did that thing, it would help you in either the short or the long term.  Regardless of how much good you know that you’d get from it, you still don’t do it.  Perhaps you make up excuses about time.  Or you tell yourself that next week would be the right time to start or you need some other resource.  Again you’ve set yourself up to not follow through because your reasons are just not strong enough.

If you’re like me and you have this scenario in your life, I’m going to suggest that you use the bad to create the good.  Most recently I’ve been publishing, my blog on a daily basis.  In order to facilitate that happening, I do not eat until I have posted (WARNING: This is not a good course of action for everyone!  Eating disorders are a real thing for millions.  Know yourself and your issues.  Act responsibly!)  For me it is putting my bad habit of overeating against my need to follow through on my positive.  This requires a level of self-control but it is completely doable.

So if you are in need of a positive kick in the butt from yourself, try it.  Don’t use your cellphone until you’ve gone for a walk or run in the morning.  Don’t have that morning cup of coffee until you’ve done the laundry.  The habits don’t even have to be “bad”.  You just need to leverage the things that you do in order to have yourself take action on the things that you would normally skip.  It can be a powerful tool if you’re willing to hold yourself to it.

Have a great day!

Pete

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Delicious Poison Check Up

A week ago, I posed a challenge to give up two of your personal poisons.  Were you able to follow through?  Did you last an hour, a day, three days or the full week?  Regardless of the answer, what do you know about yourself now?

If you caved:

Did you do so because of a particular set of circumstances?

Did you fold to pressure from peers or family?

Did you do it unconsciously (without thinking)?

How did you react to your “failure”?

Did you rebound afterward?  Or did you succumb to more temptation because “eh, I already screwed up, why stop now?”

If you made it:

Can you keep it going?/Do you want to?

What positive effect did this subtraction have?

Was there any negative effect?

What other poison could you eliminate?

There are many ways to organize our world and one of those is Inputs and Outputs.  By making deliberate and conscious choices about the things, people and circumstances that we allow into our lives, we can lead ourselves to better outputs.  If we pay attention only to feeling good in the moment, then we are dopamine addicts who are slaves to every “shiny thing” that this world puts in front of us.  I’ve seen the maxim that “ignorance is bliss” hold in many situations.  So perhaps I am the foolish one for looking past the moment for something deeper.

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Delicious Poison

Princess Bride“I’ve spent the past few years building up an immunity to iocane powder!” -The Dread Pirate Roberts/Wesley

It was a strategic maneuver.  Obviously Wesley knew that at some point he would be faced with a situation where drinking poison would save his life.  However since iocane is odorless and tasteless, the experience was not done for enjoyment but rather protection.  If Wesley had been alive in modern or realistic times, he would have had a greater number of choices to kill Vizzini.  It just would have taken years and not moments to kill him using a soft drink, ultraviolet sun-rays, fast-food and stress-laden office job.  If you haven’t understood any of this post yet, stop everything and watch “The Princess Bride” right now!

Now that you’re back or never left, it should be obvious to most that our lives are full of possible poisons.  Some can be instantaneous killers.  Others take years to grab hold and choke the life out of people.  Why are we surrounded by so much poison?  Because we want to be!  We really don’t want the literal or figurative death that they carry but it is usually an unwanted side-effect to some deliciousness.   I use the word delicious to describe some positive feeling sensation associated with a negative action or product.  It does not specifically have to be a food/drink.

The delicious moment trumps the long term poisonous effect.  It is all over our society: food, drink, relationships, entertainment and the list goes on.  I’m sure that it is not impossible but it would definitely be difficult to go “poison free”.  So I would not ask that of anyone.  Since I mainly write this blog to challenge myself, the challenge that I lay before you and I is to give up two delicious poisons this week.  Tuesday (8/25) to Tuesday (9/1).  Leave a comment with your two and be honest with yourself and me if you drop the ball.  It’s not failure, it’s data!  You’ve learned something about yourself.  My two poisons are: Iced Tea and ice cream.  I also promise to leave a comment if I fall short.  People who know me will recognize the difficulty of this.  Can you give up Facebook, unnecessary cellphone use, your anger, that cup of coffee or cigarette?

“Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” -Vizzini

Pete