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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


October 10th, 2018

In woodworking a hole is drilled in order to ensure a screw will follow a preferred path and to ensure the wood does not split.  The chances that the screw will veer off in an unintended direction are virtually zero.  A path has been cleared for it, and as with most things, the path of least resistance wins.


We might benefit from wondering what sort of pilot holes we can predrill for endeavors and habits we wish to have bolted into our lives and history.


Say someone wants to start a business.  Is there an opportunity for a pilot hole in this situation.  Can a smaller, much easier business be started in anticipation of a larger more complex project?


Can we drill pilot holes for habits?  Essentially we are looking to see if we can make the situation ripe for a habit to flourish in the right direction so that we can intentionally build our life by combining elements mindfully and strategically.


Being woken up early in the morning by the activities of others in the household, for example, does not necessarily create a ripe situation for developing a meditation habit if compared to a dedicated effort to wake up twenty minutes before everyone else.


Most people view the creation and maintenance of new good habits as a function of willpower and the necessary amount required for achievement.  But we perhaps expect too much from ourselves.  We adore the easier, faster way anyhow, so why not give some thought to how we might make a new good habit easy and more conducive? 


It’s hard to eat poorly if there is only good food in the house.  Which means it’s easy to eat healthy food


It’s hard not to go for a run if you’re late for work and purposely parked the car 10 blocks away from the house, which means not just easy, but necessary to go for a run right before work.


Imagine for example the late night shift worker who is forced to sleep late into the day.  Such an individual could bemoan the trial of poor sleep, or such a person could install black-out curtains and make the environment more conducive to their situation in life.  Sleeping through the bright environment of morning and midday is not a matter of having more willpower or not, it’s a matter of environmental circumstance.   It’s obvious in the case of someone sleeping because volitional will is not even an option in such a unconscious state.  And yet when it comes to other things that require our active participation, we toss aside the potential affects of environmental factors in favor of a perspective focused narrowly on willpower.


We might benefit from asking what sort of pilot holes we can drill into our lives to make the environment we live in more hospitable to the changes we’d like to make.


Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 178: Pilot Hole

Tinkered Thinking

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