Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What are we willing to sacrifice and for Whom?

As I was getting a bit buzzed during the late hours of one long day, I started contemplating the value of "wasting time" with friends. The contemplation continued the following day, as the dark circles under my eyes began to show and a general feeling of "Oh my! Where did my energy go?" started to soar over me.

I kept thinking that I can compartmentalize work and fun, so that one would not affect the other. But when you're using the same body for doing both, problems might occur. I used to totally eliminate from my mind the possibility that I can ever benefit from a life of 9 to 5, going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 7am, working during the day, having light fun during the evening and resting well at night. But as it seems, I was too quick to judge as being "so not me" an existence that seemed quite dull to me a few years back, and that now I wish I could have...for a while.

Although there is more to life, or there should be more to life than working from 9 to 5 and partying during the weekends (as a reverend at TED once said, but I forgot his name, thus I put another related and inspiring TED video below), should we choose not to have healthy habits and money just because it's not original? Then again, what is original in lifestyle anymore? I think we heard of/seen a fantastic variety of lifestyles, ranging from beggers, monks, and workaholics, to notorious party girls, alcoholics and junkies to people who have animatronic tails attached to their spinal cord and live as felines. Yes, we have all sorts, but are they really ALL? What humans have proven so far is clearly the great ability to majorly change things about them, while oddly being basically the same.

So returning to staying up late and partying with friends (for whatever reason you can think of) vs. being deemed responsible in socially accepted terminology and going to bed early, what is the cognitive dissonance in choosing one or the other? Should it necessarily be a choice? And if it does come down to these two choices, aren't we smart enough to think of a third choice? - e.g. writing on my blog instead of partying with friends or going to bed at a "decent" time.

I think it is not whether you make a choice or not, but rather who is the one for whom you make the choice in the first place. On the one had, if drinking with friends has the purpose of cheering up a person you care about, then the cognitive dissonance slowly goes away. If, on the other hand, you have the interview of your life the next day, the cognitive dissonance will either be there to stay (in case the interview goes really bad, or even marginally bad, but you don't get the job), or it would be probably inexistent (in case you don't go partying at all and get a nice night's sleep before the big day, and do your best there, and still don't get the job).

If we really think about, it always depends on whom we think about when we make the choice...