Saturday, October 29, 2011

Break Your Brain: the shift from manual to automatic

The hardest part of accomplishing anything, whether exercise, communication, eating, or whatever it is that involves obtaining something, is the shift from a relaxed, non-eventful state of mind to one that must give out effort.  That's hard because it literally requires mental and caloric muscle to be moved, and that means we feel some sort of struggle.

Sure, moving sucks.  But, not moving will eventually suck, too.  And I'm betting that not moving is so good right now because we just moved, and we need a break.  The point is that we can condition ourselves to do things, and that those things require rules for a little while until they become automatic.  Because, and here's the deal, you're already automatically (non-eventfully) going down a course of events, but you've been acclimated to them, so you don't notice as much.  Eating a sundae every night for dinner, or drinking a six pack, is easier because it is the norm.  We have a bias for what's here and now.  Any change isn't threatening so much as it requires some effort, and it doesn't make sense to expend energy until we have the knowledge that the expenditure of that energy will yield benefits--but to get that knowledge we have to experience it somehow, or ask someone who we trust has similar judgments and tastes.

Anyway, the point is that a lot of personal growth and insight and the core essential stuff of life, such as it is, comes not from having a lot of money, or from getting the best car or most prestigious job, but from the desire to obtain those things, and the effort we put forth to get them.   To be clear: from not drinking when drinking is easy, from not cheating when cheating is easy, from not eating cake when eating cake is easy, and from not stealing shit when it is available, not out of a need to be involved in a community (though that matters too), but because restriction begets insight, and insight allows us to realize that restriction is important, and eventually, once these two folks get into bed together, well, the genes are right for a well balanced kid, I think, so long as s/he isn't spoiled.

1 comment:

Mrs D said...

I like this. Thanks. Mrs D xx