APLS Carnival This Month: "What mental tricks do you use on yourself to help you make the right choices, even when they make life a little harder? Or, conversely, does your mind play games that trick you into making the wrong decisions?"
In some cases, the biggest trigger in my brain when I'm making a choice is what will people think. Now, many people would be surprised to hear this coming from me, I'm not a 'go with the crowd' type of person. However, I'm thinking of very specific people's opinions when I consider this. My friend who had to give up her worms when she moved and convinced me to get some so she could live vicariously- she would be very disappointed if I gave up composting because of one little ant infestation. Or, would I be willing to admit that I turned the heat up a few degrees to my friend who I am constantly badgering to lower her thermostat?
Other times, it's intrigue with the science behind things. Flushing my toilet with grey water is still fascinating to me, the brilliant pressure system, how much water is necessary, actually noticing the effects when someone else uses the pipes I share with my neighbors. Or, the mathematics- every month is a push to see if I can get closer to the 90% reduction. What exactly contributed to that increase or decrease in gas/electricity/water. Recently my electricity usage skyrocketed, and I felt a distinct loss of control. I truly enjoying knowing where each number comes from and that I chose to use that much.
Most of all, I don't offer my mind the option to want something I don't need. I can't remember the last time I went to the mall. I check out prices online before shopping, and then I only need to go to one store and can head directly to the aisle I know my item is in. I don't watch tv and therefore don't see the ads there. When I am out, I'm often out with other vegetarians, people who know me as an eco-nut and friends who would be more surprised if I didn't chose the sustainable option.
However, there are plenty of things that I don't do. I wanted to bike more this summer, but it really didn't happen. I rationalized that I was in grad school and away 12 hours a day so it was okay. That wasn't a perfect reason, but I can live with my imperfections and the occasional drive down the road to get groceries in my semi-gas-guzzling vehicle.