Gretchen Rubin’s latest post spurred some thinking on habits. She discusses the “Self-Actualization Loophole”, which may be translated as “the YOLO* excuse.”
The thing is — in some ways, I am totally on board with this loophole. As opposed to some of the others (“False Choice”, “Planning to Fail”, etc), YOLO is actually true.
So . . . can it really be a loophole?
I understand why giving in to every id-driven desire is just not going to be a functional way of life for anyone. And — as you all know! — I tend to do a lot of striving when it comes to habits. Truly, I enjoy both the process and the outcome of goal-setting and working towards cultivating habits that serve me and help make me make the most of life. At the same time, sometimes I may (boldly, intentionally) decide to make a choice that is against what I had originally set for myself.
It might be a big important choice (quitting my PhD, circa 2006) or something small and less significant (eating a delicious brownie; cracking open a bottle of wine on a Tuesday; allowing myself to take a night of trashy internet reading or TV). I admit that YOLO has been invoked in the decision making process in these situations, and really — in general, I have no regrets.
Perhaps this loophole (if it is one) is just very dose-dependent. Used sparingly, it can really work for a person, but all the time I could see how over a certain threshold it could be toxic. The tylenol of loopholes?
What are your thoughts on this loophole?
Some other thought-provoking links:
1) Laura Vanderkam’s post on what comprises working hours, and the “perfect” 40 hour work week. My job is very very very (very) weighted towards Core Production, and I wish I had more time for the other categories. I suppose this is the difference between the purely clinical world and academia. Interestingly, my job (at the same institution!) may be getting a bit more academic in the coming years – more on that later.
2) To-do list musings on Mothers In Medicine. YES on creating a list that is actually short enough to accomplish (or mostly accomplish!) each day! The Hobonichi setup (monthly/weekly/daily pages) actually really helps me to do this, and I find it really helpful and satisfying.
* You Only Live Once