Intro: This isn’t like my other posts, but this is my website, and I can do what I want. Also, right now my parents [Hi MOM] are the only ones that read this [Maybe Justin, HI JUSTIN, you stopped commenting on all my posts…] so I’m allowed to maybe stray from the bread and butter that has gotten me my two [maybe three] readers.
Also, I’m not editing this. Deal with it.
Dissonance is defined as ‘a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.’ A simple practical example is wanting a six pack, and an entire cheesecake. One personality trait simply doesn’t jive with another, and that’s dissonance. We all have it to some extent because I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t WANT to eat a cheesecake, AND WANT to have a six pack.
One thing that I feel that I have learned is that we are what we do. In an earlier post, ‘the key to happiness’ [if you haven’t read it go do it, it is the best, most Confucius-like, Ghandi-like, thing I have ever come up with] I said basically that happiness comes from aligning our schedule, the things that we do, with our wants. Basically I was talking about decresing the dissonance in our lives. [My life, nobody reads this.][Sorry Mom] Now, I am thinking that dissonance can be used as a tool to help us achieve what we want. But that’s later, first I want to identify where this comes from.
Think about the things that you do everyday. The things that you put either mental or physical effort towards. These are your core values. I don’t mean eat, sleep, work, play. We all do these things. We all eat, but do you eat very intentionally with very specific foods that you are conscious of, or do you pick up and eat or cook whatever is easiest? We all sleep, but do you go to bed without any sort of routine, exposing yourself to television or other screens that sap quality sleep away, or do you have intention before bed to set yourself up for the best night sleep possible. And we all have different priorities every day. For example, one of mine is to check the deal of the day on Amazon, and the latest prices of the Garmin Forerunner lineup. This is one of my core values. Hold on to these and think about them, because I am going to come back to how they affect you very shortly.
Now let’s talk about fringe values. These are the things that you do with intention once a week or a month. Things that you make sure to dedicate some of your time to on a regular basis. A weekly sport you play, or meeting you go to. Don’t think going to that golf course meeting once a quarter means anything? It does, because not everyone does it, so it becomes one of your fringe values.
Outside of the core values, and the fringe values are things that you don’t control, but are results of those values. For example, unless tanning is a core value or a fringe value, the amount of your skins tan will be a product of how much outside activity you have as a core or fringe value. No core or fringe values involve being outside? Then you likely have no tan. Most of my outside values involve wearing Lycra shorts and a shirt, so as you can guess I have a typical cyclist tan. Google it, it’s not pretty, but don’t forget to come back and read the rest of this, Mom.
Now let’s talk about being thin, pretty, body image, skinny, good looking etc. I believe that this is a side effect, and not a fringe or even a core value. It’s affected by too many things so that you can’t say ‘I’m going to go and sexify myself.’ It is a side effect of food intake and exercise. I don’t know anyone that is so intentional with the food that they eat that it is a core value, who is overweight. Fit is a side effect of a number of things.
Making Dissonance Work For You
Who do you want to be like, what do you want to do? If you wanted to be a criminal, I would suggest covering your body with tattoos, have at least 20 piercings, get a Mohawk haircut, carry a handgun, lose your belt and wear your pants on the ground, quit your job and loiter around dimly lit commercial areas. Now I realize this is stereotyping terribly, but I also know that it would put you in the most advantageous place to break the law.
Think about these things. Not everyone who wears a suit is a CEO of a large company, but ALL CEO’s of large companies wear suits.
Or even simpler, not everyone that carries a gun shoots people, but everyone shoots a person carries a gun.
There is a reason that a certain ‘type’ of person does a certain thing. It’s a recipe made from the person’s core and fringe values. Triathletes have a type ‘A’ personality. Is it because this personality type gets into triathlon, or because to train in triathlon you need to develop this type of personality? I believe it to be both. Type A’s get into triathlon, AND triathletes become type A. Because that’s part of the recipe.
In that way, there are two ways to become that which you aspire to. You want to be the person that eats super healthy? Not only do they eat only super healthy food, they set themselves up for success by only buying food that is super healthy and going to places that serve this food.
Identify the dissonance in your own life. Do you have a mohawk and want to be a CEO? Do you want to be thin and regularly eat fast food? Do you want to be fit but watch the Canadian AVERAGE of 4 hours of television PER DAY? I’m not saying you can’t watch every episode and be completely up to date on Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and be binging on a Netflix, and be fit at the same time…
Actually, that’s exactly what I am saying. Smarten up and quit sabotaging yourself, and I’ll try and do the same.