There is little use in structuring your life on definitive statements.
“I’m going to lose weight this year.”
“I’m going to save more money.”
“I wont relapse again.”
We command ourselves as if we know and have full control of our behavior. We feel empowered in that moment to make these statements, and our resolve feels real, but how great are we really at predicting the future?
“A question opens the mind. A statement closes the mind.” -Robert Kiyosaki
Let’s stop acting like we know. At the very best, let’s commit to making an educated guess, or defer to the data we already have, and lead ourselves down a better path of self-knowledge and curiosity.
Here are the questions:
What is the end goal of this action?
and how does it develop my character? (Or alternatively, what does this teach me about myself?)
What Is The End Goal?
This question helped me to quit video-games (or at least put them on pause for a while), because I realized there was no end-game for the habit.
There are so many new games being released every month. And yet, there are also so many old games that I have yet to play. After I finish one game, I will just have to pull another one off of the backlog and finish that one too, while my wish list simultaneously builds up.
Never ending consumption.
So I’ve given away my Nintendo Switch. In my two decades of playing video games, I have surely accumulated enough data to at least extract a meaningful 20% of video-games that will encompass 80% of my total playing time now.
I have a Nintendo Wii with most of my favorite games on it already, and a CRT TV to reproduce the aesthetic feel. Why do I need anything more?
We may not be able to predict the future, but asking yourself what is the end goal? will most certainly stop you from an endless road of unceasing consumption. You may have already arrived. You may have all that you need for the right now.
How Does This Develop My Character/ What Does This Teach Me About Myself?
This is another great question to ask when you are faced with repeating your old habits.
Suppose you are committed to a new healthy diet, and suddenly you are craving something off the menu. Why should you indulge this craving?
You already know that you want this particular thing, how would indulging in it provide you with additional self-knowledge?
I love donuts. In my life I’ve eaten 1,000 donuts. What new pathway will be opened up if I go up to 1,001?
And there’s no need to commit or to promise never again to eat donuts, but simply ask what is the end goal of this donut? How will this donut develop my character?
It may not serve you now, but it could be relevant in another season. Don’t cry. Don’t run. Don’t have such strong beliefs for yourself.
Let’s just be open and try and ask more meaningful questions which lead to more meaningful resolutions.
See you on the Far Side – Monk Moon Base
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