Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Being a 21st Century Puritan

Truthfully, these past days have been very off and disappointing to me. But, here I am not to complain; rather, to offer a quick lesson derived: When you discover the conditions that give rise to your best moods and optimal performance and the factors that hinder them, it's best to be near-religious in protecting those routines and guarding against the follies.

For me, as of late I've been having lots of problems with caffeine intolerance. You all probably know that I love dark chocolate, and for the time being it seems that my body is developing a sensitivity to it, where I can't eat even a half-bar every day. Even if I eat a half at 8AM it's still going to wreck my sleep that night, and a wrecked sleep really changes the winds of my entire day.

Fasted upon that item, however, then the blood in my head feels cold and refreshing, I'm enthusiastic upon waking, and utterly clear-headed. While I intend to be a chocolate connoisseur all my life, it's something I've got to watch if I want to maximize my cognitive powers as much as I've set myself out to.

The risk in obtaining these healthier states of well-being is that our memories can be altered so that the discomfort of what we resolved to avoid won't feel so real anymore. The leg cramps, depressed moods, and awful sleep of sugar overdose and caffeine sensitivity feel intangible, so in that healthier state it feels okay to indulge a little more in that old habit since, after all, I'm all healed up and more tolerant, right? A little won't hurt.

And then: A little hurts. Quickly there's a habit relapse, along with the leg cramps, depressed moods, and awful sleep. The same logic applies to absolutely any denigrating habit, such as surfing the web. At times when I thought I cleared myself of that habit, it feels "okay" to try out the old habit "for fun" since I won't be prone to cycling in it as I once did . . . which leads back into cycling in it as I once did.

As such, when you've healed yourself of something deleterious to your self-progress, be puritan about protecting those conditions, resolving not to have "just a taste" of habits you've worked so hard to discard. It's Pandora's Box, absolutely.

Though, exact strategies for protecting again relapse aren't clear to me at the moment. For chocolate, for instance, I intend to abstain from it for several day if not weeks to get it out of my system, and then, perhaps, I might write down the days I dare indulge in it. That may seem like overdoing it, but when we're talking about optimal performance for an optimal life of optimal happiness, no measure is too overdone to be worthwhile in that regard.

For now, don't indulge in parts of yourself you're trying to leave behind. Not even a little bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ah! So you want to comment? Good!

My only rule: Use common sense manners.