clear the path

by Josh


And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you.

-Balu the Bear

What kind of music do you like?
What kind of music do you NOT like?
Which one of these questions is more simple to answer?

Taking decisions is a part of life and it can be a pretty daunting task.
But our awareness of what we dislike is so much keener than that of the things we actually like.
Let me explain how this awareness could help you take (possibly unexpected) decisions.

Small decisions (vanilla or chocolate ice cream?) and big decisions (which university) can seem equally challenging at times.
If you have no clue what option you should go for, figure out which directions you don’t like and then act accordingly.
(Even amoeba go away if they dislike their environment.)
Clean your room.
Throw away, give away, sell.
Stop doing the things you do not want to do (unhealthy habits are your personal invitation for heroic victory).
How are you supposed to paint on a canvas that is filled with old crap, filled with your past?
You have this incredible skill to know if you don’t want something.
Let me suggest that you put it to use.
It will clear the path, open the doors, the spaces.
For new (or old) people/things/habits that might be closer to what your heart desires .
You literally clean out your closet.
Thrust open the windows, so the dust of complacency gets blown away by the fresh winds of creation and curiosity.

Be aware: This loss aversion can also work the other way around!

Loss aversion is the human tendency to avoid losses much stronger than work towards possible gains.
The possible loss of something that is of value to us, motivates us far more, than possible gains.
It can make us hold on to things, just because we don’t like the idea of losing them.
Not because that something is actually of value to us.
Just because it is ours.
Our precious.
This might be useful to keep in mind, when we struggle to let go.
Don’t get me wrong, loss aversion can also be of great use, like in the catfood-experiments.
Eating catfood is a type of cost. It is an unpleasant task that most people would rather avoid . So the (negative) motivation not to pay the cost (eating catfood) overrides the (positive) motivation to watch porn/smoke/drink/whateveryoudliketoquit.

By the way, I am not telling you to slack off and do nothing, because you dislike work.
As so often, it is important to keep moving and
don’t whistle while you pee.