Hi. Meet reality. It looks like this:(The Slight Edge chart)
Only what you do consistently over a long period matters.
The consequences of your spontaneous actions are irrelevant in the long run. Today you spontaneously decide to sit on a couch and binge-watch a series on Netflix. Tomorrow you spontaneously decide to go for a bike ride. In the long run, those one-time actions mean nothing.
But develop a habit of binge-watching on a couch or biking, and you will relatively quickly (in weeks, I suppose) see the difference.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” ― Gandhi
So, Mr. or Mrs. Bored, the only long-term effect of your spontaneity, in the long run, will be a more spontaneous lifestyle. We always get more of what we practice. BTW, it’s been proved at the neural level, not just the philosophical one. That’s why Gandhi’s quote is true.
You Lie to Yourself
We are habitual creatures TO THE CORE. We share the parts of our brain where habits are formed and stored with reptiles and birds. Habits are as primal as an adrenaline rush or pangs of hunger.
Scientists determined that about 40% of our daily actions are habitual, completely automatic. Whether you decide to be more spontaneous or not, almost half of your actions are automatic. But if you decide to not develop good habits, guess what kind of habits will stick?
The bad ones. They are easier to sneak into your life because they use the immediate reward system of your body. You scroll through the social media feed and your brain is bombarded with dopamine. You inhale cigarette smoke and you immediately feel how your system is soothed.
Thus, you don’t notice you formed a habit before it is solidified and starts weighing you down.
But for 99.9999% of people who choose the ‘spontaneous’ route, end up at the downward curve.
The Game Is Rigged
You cannot change your biophysical structure by the decision you are going to be more spontaneous. Bad habits will glue to you along the way. You will feel free like a bird and spontaneous like a leaf moved by wind. But you will finish at the destination of the downward curve: failure.
(The Slight Edge chart – the downward curve)
“More spontaneous” is a nice narration for your lazy brain to not use your willpower and energy.
Another quirk of the subconscious mind is that it always tries to save your energy and BS stories you tell yourself are the cheapest way to avoid any effort.
Be a human. Smartly exercise conscious control over your actions.
Decide what habits you want to have and put your attention, time, and energy into building them.
Without direct access to your bodily reward system, you need to supervise the process with a plan, determination, and giving yourself rewards of your choice.
Or be spontaneous and slide down. Your choice.
The post Getting Bored with Habits vs. Living More Spontaneously appeared first on ExpandBeyondYourself.