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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Life Hack 23: Freedom

In ways that are very mysterious, certain behaviors appear to be constrained rather than freely chosen.    The obsessive compulsive or the addict do not appear to be choosing their actions, any more, but acting on the basis of compulsion, even though the compulsion is coming from the self.

Habits that line up with important life goals, though, appear to be freely chosen. So if I know I must do something to achieve my goal, I will be acting freely.

The best way to eliminate bad behaviors is to simply eliminate the time in which they occur by doing something better in that time. You will experience a sense of freedom, even if you schedule your time quite rigidly, because you will have chosen things that line up with what you really think of as meaningful to you.

You cannot change your behavior by first waiting for your cognition to be in the perfect state. Instead,                  I suggest first changing the behavior, and letting your brain figure out the benefits later. The mind might very well be the weak link, here.  Bad behavior sends a signal to the mind to have bad thoughts.  With my two good friends who are zen masters (although I haven't spoken to them much about zen it comes up a bit in conversation in various ways), I have noticed that they emphasize the practice. That word comes up both as noun and verb.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Although I think belief in the validity of care of self comes first.

My mother always envied my good habits and in a moment of lucidity said it was not really that I was more disciplined or better organized than she, it was that I liked myself better than she did and the manifestation of it was better self-care. This was insightful.

My difficulties with all of these things started with psychotherapy, which I thought would be more like analysis and would be interesting. What I learned there was that self-care was a kind of front, false cheer if you will, and you had to find out what was behind this facade and repair the foundation. Only after the repair would you truly deserve the good habits that you were now using without authorization.

Since then I've tried to recover via this idea of practice but it does not work -- there has to be someone or something behind the said practice.