I know, what the frack is “akrasia“?
Yes, Google will answer that for you in a second. You can also right-click over the word and select “Look Up…” to get its definition (on MAC only)
Or I can just tell you, so I will:
Akrasia: the state of acting against one’s better judgement.
You know when you feel something and there aren’t words available to express it?
That’s how I felt until I learned about akrasia.
How many times have I acted against my better judgment during my lifetime?
I can tell you that looking back I could give myself a PhD in akrasia.
Akratic behavior is probably as common as people with two Eustachian tubes.
Here are some examples:
- Procrastination: I know it would be better for me to do the homework but I’ll wait till the last day and risk failing.
- Weight Loss: I know I shouldn’t eat that ice-cream but what the heck.
- Addictions: I know I would be better off if I quit smoking but, oh well, I’ll worry about it when I’m 60 with lung cancer.
- etc, etc…
Those are obvious, but there is a type of akratic behavior that is much more insidious and afflicts many of us at a subconscious level.
Here is one that I’ve internalized for decades…
I realized I’ve subconsciously avoided reaching my full potential my entire life.
I believe we all know intuitively what it takes to be successful. But the question is, do I really want to be successful? What happens if I become too successful?
Success, we are told, is what we should all strive for. But success, the same as failure, comes at a price.
Success may alienate your friends, make you feel lonely, may create envy, may affect your privacy, may after all make you… unhappy?
Looking back in life, I can see that this fear of success has been the cause of several acts of self-sabotage.
My acratic behavior only will end once I can cope with the potential consequences of success.
My current thinking is that the price of success is only worth if by achieving it, I can improve the lives of many. Only when it’s not about me but about other’s it will make sense.
But here is the thing. Externally, someone avoiding success on purpose would be deemed as akratic.
But internally, if the individual would be better off staying away from success then the real akratic behavior would be to pursue success despite of he being aware that it may ruin his life.
Let me illustrate this with a more specific example:
Let’s say Paul is walking down 41st Ave and runs into a Lottery ticket on the sidewalk.
He checks the numbers and it happens to be the winner of a $100 million jackpot. Yipee, party party!
He is about to cash it, but then 2 seconds before handing it over to the teller, turns around and shreds it into little pieces. Whwattt?
Society would say, this guy is insane! such dude would win the akratic price of the year, right?
But Paul knows deep inside that cashing that ticket would ruin his life (as statistically proven so). Paul is a pretty happy guy already, he doesn’t need $100 million to be happy. He just needs enough to live comfortably, a good job, and a wife and two kids that love him dearly.
$100 million would break havoc in his life, banks would accost him, everyone would look at him with envy, his friends would expect him to pay for everything for ever, his lost cousin would ask him to buy him a house.
Does he want that? nope. Nor he wants that curse for anyone, so he goes and rips the ticket into pieces with a smile on his face.
In his mind, the real akratic person would be the person that would take the money despite being aware of the consequences.
How many people in this world are squandering their potential for fear of compromising their happiness?
I think it comes down to this:
What’s more important to you: achievement or fulfillment?
If it’s fulfillment then maybe your definition of success is not making millions but making friends.
And that’s fine, expect the world may miss your talent!
Peace, Love and you guessed it… Akratic cookies 🙂
P.S: Remember last week’s email about my banned WaitButWhy video? Well, thanks to one of you, the next day I was approached by one of the most influential and iconic entrepreneurs in recent history to animate one of his posts. Can’t say more except… will my akratic side frack this opportunity too? Stay tuned!
P.2: On a total unrelated note. Are you stuck creating an online course for akritic reasons? join my new Facebook group to get unstuck asap here:http://grumo.com/unstuck
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