Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and encouraged.
Every day we are faced with thousands of choices and the choices we are making both define our present and shape our future. Decision fatigue is common in the afternoon, especially after lunch if you chose to eat more carbs than protein; notice the attention here to value.
We humans cannot make a decision without placing the value of one choice over another. Take deciding to turn left or turn right when driving for example, with the common most valued choice being the route that requires the least amount of time to reach our destination - we may choose the longer route if the shorter route is clogged with traffic, hence the popularity of the WAZE GPS app, which gets real time feedback from other drivers as to conditions and hold-ups. It’s amazing where WAZE can take you to optimize your travel- I use the app almost every-time I drive. Why? To think less about where to turn and more to know it’s likely the best value route to take.
Every choice is a value choice - sure we have our automatic habitual choices, which are also our choice: to roll with habit and think less. But Socrates so famously said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. What did he mean? Consider how eventually, habits not examined can guide our behaviors in ways that are contrary to our desired optimal outcomes.
Recently I have been endeavoring to increase my reading - of actual books in hand - it’s fun and I’m currently into a few reads that are calling me back. But here’s the deal, I also value sleep. The other night I was valuing the reading more than the sleep and went to bed later than was optimal. Now you may say what’s the big deal, well it’s not that big of a deal, but I enjoy observing my behaviors and asking the question “Why?”.
If I were to make one recommendation to anyone that would have the greatest positive value impact on a person’s life it would be to get more sleep and I like to practice ‘what I preach’. It’s almost universal that we don’t get enough sleep, especially here in the US, and the reasons why are significant, from poor diet, eating to late, screen time after dark, etc.; so it occurred to me that there is an error in valuation.
No one would go into a Starbucks and pay 20 bucks for a cup of coffee. The coffee is already expensive enough, but if you were told it is now 20 bucks a cup, you wouldn’t pay the price unless you were….? Unless you were what?
Addicted?! Telling yourself you cannot live without it? Now this discussion isn’t about addiction, but of course addiction does impact our valuation. A cup of coffee valued from a place of addiction becomes a higher perceived value and can cause us to pay way too much for it. In my desire to read more, I traded sleep for more pages and on reflection, I know that I overpaid. The lack of sleep was an additional price I paid the following day that was not worth the extra chapter in the book.
This is not about self-incrimination, it’s about reflection and improved life experience. When approached with curiosity, it’s an endless state of wonder: “I wonder why I did that?”.
So many look outside themselves to improve their view, not considering enough the eyes we look through;
dirty window, dirty view.
Noticing more our choices, not identifying the poor ones with self criticism, but rather fascination, will help us open for ourselves and others a brighter future.
If I want to get better sleep to better fuel everything I value in life, I would be wise to value it more and not overpay with my sleep for that which I value less.
Put a dollar amount on your screen time. What’s it worth to you over the course of an hour? Most people would say they pay way to much peace of mind for screen time. Then WHY are we doing it? What are we habitually devaluing when we place a higher value on looking at our phone?
Is our life at the current moment being devalued for the perceived higher value of a possible dopamine hit a fun video might provide? There is a reason the slot machines in Vegas have always been the primary money maker - they hijack our risk/reward chemistry making us addicted to the next hit: the nickels that fall out with that beloved clinking sound. When lost in the activity, when not observing Why, many find themselves literally in a wheelchair, cigarette and drink in hand pulling the lever over and over for nickels that cost hundreds of dollars to enjoy.
Consider more than ever your choices and the value you place on the various aspects of your life, how you “spend” your time, where you “pay” attention and start investing more wisely to get a better return on the amazing temporal life we are so privileged to live.
Improve your Valuation,
Improve your Life!
Make it a great week!