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October 4th, 2019


It can be so aggravating when someone says yea yea yea, in response to a good point.


But it’s a sign of victory.


The agreement is there, just not emotionally.  Yea yea yea, I know smoking is bad for me.


The common phenomenon is a one to look out for.  It’s not as useful to notice in others as it is to notice in ourselves.


Whenever we hear ourselves say yea yea yea in response to some good point, it’s a moment deserving of a Pause.


What the instance means in broad strokes is that we know we should act differently on some topic, and that we don’t, either because of some unjustifiable emotional reason or because of some kind of chemical influence.  I.E. the nicotine in cigarettes, the sugar in the cereal, the caffeine in the coffee, or the 6-monoacetylmorphine in heroin.


The utterance of yea yea yea is a perfect contradiction:


The actual words are indicative of rational agreement.




The tone is indicative of emotional disagreement.


It’s a flag that highlights impasses in who we are.  Issues where we are inconsistent and disjointed.


Ultimately they are opportunities, and of all the opportunities that we have at our disposal and in our awareness, these are often low-hanging fruit because we already have reasons and agreement built in. 


Often a new habit, or the dismantling of a current habit is what’s needed.  And this process of habit formation or habit dismantling also has an intrinsic ability to reshape the emotion that surrounds the issue.


Our emotions are a response to present stimuli.  When we think about the future and formulate feeling about tomorrow, those feelings are intrinsically inaccurate.  We cannot actually feel anything about the future because the topic is a complete unknown.  What we are in fact feeling when we try to assess the future is a reflection of current stimuli. 


We can highlight this with an easy and common example:


“Why don’t you go start a workout routine?”


“I don’t feel like it.”


And that response has no access to what it feels like after 6 months of a solid exercise routine.  Because exercise – for the most part – and once well established feels great.  The feelings here are completely opposite.


How we feel about prospective changes are never accurate simulations of how we will feel after the change. 


This disjunction of feeling between present and future is at the core of human stubbornness, laziness, and other things that can fall into a pattern of perseveration, whether that be smoking a cigarette or even something as controversially complicated as depression.


Large topics aside,


we can start small, and look for clues in our own person.


Like when someone recommends starting a practice of meditation in response to our description of anxiety, and we hear ourselves say…


yea, yea, yea…



This episode references Episode 23: Pause and Episode 531: The Reason Behind a Lie.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 537: Yea Yea Yea

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