Remember Why You’re Really Doing It

As you may know, my friend Sebastian and I have a bet going where we must write a blog post every single day for two years. We ironed out the terms and conditions, but one area was left slightly fuzzy– we both travel a lot, so what happens when time zones interfere? We agreed that no one would lose because of a time zone shift, but to be reasonable.

I went west on a cruise ship, which led to me crossing the international date line, and thus losing a day. I had the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh, but not the twenty-sixth. No big deal, though. I woke up every day, wrote my post, and checked that box.

But then, returning east by plane, I essentially had a 36 hour day where I woke up twice. It was a bit of a grey area– I treated it as two days for sleep and meals, but the calendar never clicked over.

I wrote two blog posts that day. I wouldn’t have lost the bet if I hadn’t, but when applying external forces to habits, it’s important to remember that you’re doing it for the habit, not for the external forces.

Most of us have an aversion on some level to cheating, but that aversion seems to be lightest when applied to ourselves. I’m not writing to not lose money, I’m writing to try to become a better writer, and to have consistent output. Skipping a day because it’s a grey area takes me farther away from that, even if it has no bearing to the bet.

This is just one of many situations where it’s important to think about why you’re supposed to be doing something before you excuse yourself from doing it. Our society, particularly the educational system, has us focused on external validation rather than internal validation. You can go pretty far on external validation alone, but not nearly as far as you’ll go on internal validation. So don’t cheat anyone, most of all yourself.


Photo is me facing off with a Toucan in Brazil. Fun fact: a bird tried to attack me in Paraguay when visiting the Jesuit ruins. Flew straight at me, and then circled around and flew at me again. Terrifying.






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