At first glance, people may find me somewhat inconsistent. My behavior can, to say at least, at times seem to be contradictory.On the one hand, I party, drink and basically have a good time without giving much thought to any of the consequences. But on the other hand however, people know me as something of a health freak, concerned with the environment, sustainability and the general future of our planet. Do these two seemingly opposite sides of me even fit together? Am I a slight case of typical borderline?
But, chances are you recognize this kind of behavior, these two different lines of thought. Heck, it’s only logical. TED Blog, the blog of the famous organization TEDx featured a very interesting interview with Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonical, an expert on the science of willpower and author of the book The Willpower Instinct. In the interview, McGonical gives us an insight in the way people miss formulate New Years resolutions and how it’s precisely that, that makes it so hard for us to stick to them. Willpower, McGonical explains, is the ability to align yourself with the brain system that is thinking about long-term goals — that is thinking about big values rather than short-term needs or desires.
And that’s, I think, exactly why I may seem so contradictory, and also why you recognize this behavior. You and I contradict us by having a competition with two sides within you that struggle for satisfaction. The one side being that ‘smart you’ that can think long term about goals, ambitions and whatever you want to be in the future. The other side is the devil on your shoulder, the one that wants to do what feels good right now, the one that seeks instant satisfaction, without thinking of the consequences.So without getting lost in a very boring and endless monologue about why these sides collide, you and I probably both understand that in order to reach our long term goals, we have to make peace with the devil that whispers words of doubt in your ear every time you think about doing the smart, maybe not so fun thing.
But why should we? Why should we make the smart decision? For one thing, we really seem to enjoy those stupid decisions as we go along, regretting only what comes after (life altering consequences or maybe merely a bad hangover). These days, at least in my social environment, it also seems like you’re either a foodie or a fastfoodjunkie, a fitnessfreak or a lazy couch potato, a hipster or an average Joe (you get where I’m going). Why can’t I be both? So much as I seem to have competing slightly bipolar personalities, I don’t see why this should brand me in any way or worse, hold me back on my ambitions.
I like us to change the world. I want to go on a quest with you to shed any faulty behavior that we might be not aware of yet. Let’s inspire people not just to eat healthy, think about developing their qualities or to start working out, but be aware of the opportunities you create by doing so. I feel that to many people see it as a big hassle, they don’t know where to start, how to start and how to fit a new and improved kind of behavior in their lives. To a certain extend, neither do I. But I’ve been researching this for a long time now. I might just know a thing or two. I might just know how to get you inspired.
In any case, this is the journey I’ve beset for myself. And I want you to come along. What will we do? We will begin by realizing that most of the time, we have almost no clue of what we want, what we’re doing or how to start following our dreams. Then, let’s get aware of whats around us, whats we feel passionate about or what merely interests us. Finally, we see how to fit those inspiring new things we’ve found in a new life where we materialize our dreams.
Let’s see if we can change our world, but without making such a big fuss about it.