Author Topic: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?  (Read 8423 times)

Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:23:03 PM »
I have decided to start a discussion (from another thread) to stop the 'thread drift' which I admit to contributing to (beginning with reply #41) here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/no-kidspets-costco-still-worth-it-pitfalls-of-bulk-shopping/new/?topicseen#new

I thought the topic was an interesting area to explore in its own right.  I am not trying to piss anyone off, rather I would be interested in what folks think about the fine line that seems to slice between good vs bad ('addictions' / 'foibles' / 'luxury spending').  Is there an argument for a face punch in some circumstances...but not others?

As you can see...a couple of people, including Ottawa, questioned whether soda was a necessity. 

WRT the soda/juice comment I made, it wasn't just addressed to the OP and his partner.  I think a couple others commented that they buy soda/juice at Costco.  It might be cheaper to buy it there, but my question would be why are you buying it at all?

And my statement to that is this: This isn't a religion. There is no official dogma beyond: Do what feels right. Does MMM drink soda? Nope. Is he my prophet, am I committing a moral sin by drinking soda? No.

Mustachianism most certainly isn't a religion.  Whereas religion is based purely on following on 'faith' in an evidential vacuum...Mustachiansim asks you to dissect and question everything.  Mustachianism makes you think about the choices you make with respect to: HEALTH, HAPPINESS, RESOURCE CONSUMPTION and SPENDING LESS. 

I think this applies ESPECIALLY in the broken down quote below. 

I'm doing minor damage to my wallet(and by minor, we're talking way less then a starbucks addiction)

Really?  Soda is about 50 cents per unit (at least).  How many per day? 
1 = $2800 over 10 years (including lost opportunity)
2 = $5600 over 10 years
3 = $8500 over 10 years

What if a household of 3 each drink a couple per day?  That would be one year of financial freedom lost to soda over 10 years.

Additionally: I find that people who have a habit in the area of soda...often have habits in other nutritionally devoid areas.  It is the canary.

and whatever amount of damage to my body compared to drinking water or healthy stuff.

This! A lovely little summary (with real scientific articles to support) of 14 reasons...well actually 13...we covered #14 above.
http://verdavivo.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/14-reasons-not-to-drink-soda/

There were a couple of interesting follow-on comments here:


You could quite simply replace numbers and links in your argument to change it into an argument about alcohol instead of soda, yet we know many Mustachians (including MMM himself) do not deny themselves alcohol. And the argument about costs and health effects (dead brain cells and beer bellies, anyone?) end up being much stronger.

The point I'm trying to make is that this place is NOT about denying yourself the simple, low-cost things that you personally take pleasure in. MMM has made certain priorities in his life, and if some of the members here prefer to have a couple of sodas a month instead of a couple of beers, who are we to judge that decision?

and here:


Let's not digress too far off topic from the question of value at Costco, shall we?  Perhaps the posters have thought about the choices and decided to make them anyhow.  Unless you are free of "sin" of spending on items needlessly.  Even MMM admits to luxury spending.

Yes, I'm a coke drinker - but I never pay 50 cents for a coke, I buy it on sale for 0.25 to 0.33 cents a can (most recently 0.2 cents).  But I don't drink coffee, even at home, as many on here do.  We all have our little foibles that make us happy.

I believe that spending money on things that have no nutritive value and are indeed physically detrimental is a sign of either misinformation or addiction, or both.  I say addiction in the sense that notwithstanding that most some people are aware the food item falls into the harmful/non-nutritional category, they consume it anyway.

Disclosure:
I drink one black coffee per day.
I consume 4-5 standard ration homebrew beer/wine per week.

It is my belief that in moderation - my two 'foibles' are not harmful.  In fact, at these levels they can claim at least as many scientific studies suggesting they are beneficial. 

What do people think?












Sparafusile

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Indiana, USA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 05:37:30 PM »
I'm certainly addicted to pop. When I try to go off it I get a horrible headache and wonderfully vivid dreams. I think the only way I could go off it is if it were declared illegal and I had no access to it. I know it's about as bad as eating battery acid, but it doesn't matter. I think it's better than some other things I could be addicted to however. I guess it's a socially acceptable addiction, even more-so than smoking.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 06:09:59 PM »
I believe that spending money on things that have no nutritive value and are indeed physically detrimental is a sign of either misinformation or addiction, or both.

BAM here it is. Ok, good job picking out all the thing you don't like about soda. Now think of all the things someone might like about soda. Here's two, for example: they enjoy the taste (probably the big one), or maybe they like the caffeine and don't like coffee or tea. Another: maybe they have soda-drinking friends and it's a social bonding thing.

You value more money and traditional "healthiness" (for this limited case) more highly than the taste or any other factor that might encourage someone to drink soda. That's fine, value whatever you want. But if you begrudge other people their own values, they won't be happy with you. I'm certain there's something you do that someone else on here could say "that thing is categorically bad! and you're addicted so double-bad on you!" Coffee or beer for instance, as you pointed out. Whether you agree that it's true or not, how would that make you feel? I'm going to guess attacked at the worst, if you don't have a logical thought process to back up your actions, or at best mildly annoyed if you've thought it out already and have to explain yourself yet again to some goon on the internet telling you why your life is wrong.

To encourage discussion, if that's what you want to do rather than just tell people they're wrong, I suggest you ask questions. "Why do you drink soda?" would be a good start. If you understand people rather than talk at them, you stand a better chance of learning something. If persuasion's your thing, you also have a better angle on that since you know where the other person's coming from.

WRT to addiction itself, I'd focus more on values related to the addiction, not the object, in order to discuss pros/cons of addiction. I doubt you'll find many people in the "getting addicted" phase of something who don't enjoy whatever they're doing. Instead, I'd explore (just for example) a freedom angle, where being addicted to something lessens the amount of freedom you have. Just a thought though.

Not a soda drinker, but I have my vices. As do most of us.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 06:56:44 PM »
The topic title was interesting, but this appears to just be about soda.  Meh.  I don't care one way or the other about soda.

FWIW, if this topic were what I thought it was, I was preparing to argue that there is no such thing as a good addiction.

In fact, I'd take it even further and say there is no such thing as a good habit.

But this, apparently, is not that thread.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 07:07:02 PM »
The topic title was interesting, but this appears to just be about soda.  Meh.  I don't care one way or the other about soda.

FWIW, if this topic were what I thought it was, I was preparing to argue that there is no such thing as a good addiction.

In fact, I'd take it even further and say there is no such thing as a good habit.

But this, apparently, is not that thread.

Well then let's turn it around! I'm interested in what you think, especially about habits. I see how a habit you just fall into without thinking could be less than ideal. Do you think deliberately constructed habits are equally as bad?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 07:13:07 PM »
Well then let's turn it around! I'm interested in what you think, especially about habits. I see how a habit you just fall into without thinking could be less than ideal. Do you think deliberately constructed habits are equally as bad?

Not when creating it.  When it is no longer considered, yes.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

avonlea

  • Guest
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 07:16:02 PM »
I think this is the only thread I've seen where the responses have all come from moderators.  It makes me feel like I've accidentally walked in on a private meeting or something. ;)

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 07:18:45 PM »
I think this is the only thread I've seen where the responses have all come from moderators.  It makes me feel like I've accidentally walked in on a private meeting or something. ;)

BANNED!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 07:21:53 PM »
But aren't habits often efficient? Is it always faster better smarter to live an examined life every freakin' second? I love rethinking things I didn't think needed thinking about as much as the next guy (hey, I'm the one who stopped using soap), but at some point you gotta say, "I've hit my sweet spot for this particular thing now, so it's going on autopilot."

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 07:27:18 PM »
It may not be faster, better, or smarter, but I do believe it is more worthwhile.

Too much of life is lived on autopilot.  That's not a good thing, regardless of if you think you've already "optimized" it.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8770
  • Registered member
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 07:46:11 PM »
It may not be faster, better, or smarter, but I do believe it is more worthwhile.

Too much of life is lived on autopilot.  That's not a good thing, regardless of if you think you've already "optimized" it.

Obviously it's better to be mindful of all your choices, but isn't a habit that contributes to the physical and mental well being of a person trump the alternative?  Preference in this order:

1) Wake up each day, mindfully decide to do some calisthenics for 15 min
2) Wake up each day, do some calisthenics for 15 min just because it's your habit
3) Wake up each day, stare at the wall for 15 min because you're still tired and can't really think

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 07:54:41 PM »
Yes, that is the correct order.

1 and 3 are a choice, 2 is a habit.

Choose 1 when it is the right choice (I'd posit very often).

When you find yourself falling into 2, as will often be the case, reflect and decide if that's still the correct course of action for yourself.

Choose 3 when it is the right choice.

You don't have to necessarily examine the decision every time you make it... but just reflect regularly on your life and its practices and habits.  Don't just think - what most self improvement people do - of your bad habits and changing them, but think of your good ones.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 07:56:12 PM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Khan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 09:08:16 PM »
What's up guys? Anyways, Russ hit it on the head. In the original topic, I was merely attempting to show that Costco, even for a single guy, is an amazing deal(so for 2 it's a no-brainer IMO), and I used soda's as an example of why bulk shopping is absolutely great for mustachianism, and I felt I was attacked for mentioning Sodas.

My response to that is this: None of us lives the "ideal" life, that is, a complete life of poverty a la Socrates? The life of the monk, from this exchange:
Quote
Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways.  One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.

Years later they meet.  As they catch up, the minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin, shabby monk.  Seeking to help, he says:

“You know, if you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”

To which the monk replies:

“If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”
(Shamelessly stolen from Jcollinsnh http://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/02/the-monk-and-the-minister/)

Soda is a vice, and I fully acknowledge that fact. If I had posted a topic stating my budget and asking for financial help and you find that it is something in my life, you may target it, but lately I've seen the suggestions getting more and more extreme on this site. Not everyone -needs- to downgrade their car. Is it an option, and one to be suggested? Absolutely, but every post does not need to take an adversarial stance towards that end. You don't need to attack soda because you don't support it, I fully know what I'm doing, I'm not in the dark about the health consequences, or my own budget.  This isn't the ERE forums, each one of us acknowledges we'd like control over our lives[FI] while still attempting to find our own comfort level and escaping the life of a middle class wage slave.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 09:24:50 PM »
My response to that is this: None of us lives the "ideal" life

I do.

the "ideal" life, that is, a complete life of poverty a la Socrates?

What makes you think a life of poverty is ideal? 

The life of the monk, from this exchange:
Quote
Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways.  One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.

Years later they meet.  As they catch up, the minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin, shabby monk.  Seeking to help, he says:

“You know, if you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”

To which the monk replies:

“If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”
(Shamelessly stolen from Jcollinsnh http://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/02/the-monk-and-the-minister/)

I think plenty of us here live on what we want and don't cater to the king.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 09:38:56 PM »
My response to that is this: None of us lives the "ideal" life

I do.

Yeah, I was gonna say... my life is ideal too IMO. Has nothing to do with poverty or extremes, just finding the balance that's right for you at any given time.

Khan

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 10:03:50 PM »
I meant the ideal as in one lacking in vices and addictions, but point taken you two ;)

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 10:11:40 PM »
I meant the ideal as in one lacking in vices and addictions, but point taken you two ;)

Even with that clarification I still meet the qualifications, unless I misunderstand you, but misunderstanding people is my vice/addiction, so that's to be expected.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Simple Abundant Living

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
    • Simple Abundant Living
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 10:22:20 PM »
I liked arebelspy's reference to habits. In "the power of habit", the author defines a habit much like an addiction. There is a craving for the habit. I do believe there are good habits, bad habits, and neutral habits. In a Sunday school lesson I just taught, we discussed how honesty (or dishonesty) is a often a habit. People will often lie to avoid pain, seek pleasure, or because of habit. If you value honesty, you should try to develop a honesty habit, so that honesty is on autopilot in your life.  Most people would call that a good habit/addiction. I'd put soda in the neutral category as a society, though for my own health reasons it would be personally a negative.  As long as you can pay your soda bills (as well as your health and dental bills), I can't say your soda habit affects me at all.

Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 06:57:22 AM »

...But if you begrudge other people their own values, they won't be happy with you. I'm certain there's something you do that someone else on here could say "that thing is categorically bad! and you're addicted so double-bad on you!" Coffee or beer for instance, as you pointed out. Whether you agree that it's true or not, how would that make you feel? I'm going to guess attacked at the worst, if you don't have a logical thought process to back up your actions, or at best mildly annoyed if you've thought it out already and have to explain yourself yet again to some goon on the internet telling you why your life is wrong.

Hmm..interesting...except: I disagree!  If I became a cocaine addict, or any other societally unacceptable individual - I would want people to point it out, I would want people to try and help me.  I wouldn't deep down truly want to be that person. 

I don't think I'm attacking anyone - I'm laying out some legitimate science-backed arguments against a certain behaviour that is counter-productive for the reasons I outlined. 


To encourage discussion, if that's what you want to do rather than just tell people they're wrong, I suggest you ask questions. "Why do you drink soda?" would be a good start. If you understand people rather than talk at them, you stand a better chance of learning something. If persuasion's your thing, you also have a better angle on that since you know where the other person's coming from.

I do agree Russ!  This is definitely the approach to take. 


WRT to addiction itself, I'd focus more on values related to the addiction, not the object, in order to discuss pros/cons of addiction. I doubt you'll find many people in the "getting addicted" phase of something who don't enjoy whatever they're doing. Instead, I'd explore (just for example) a freedom angle, where being addicted to something lessens the amount of freedom you have. Just a thought though.

I still take it all back to addiction (which I truly believe the example I used is).  This is a micro-example of why you should examine why you do the things you do.  Arebelspy was right (below), this is about much more than soda. 

It is applying the logic and thought process in everything that we do in an attempt to optimize our own lives and the health of the planet around us.  It is the essence of Mustachianism!  To dismiss something like alcoholism, or unfettered soda drinking, or compulsively collecting something as "OK" is to give in to the thinking that good enough...is.  It's going to be difficult for someone to trim other areas in a bid to successfully optimize a lifestyle toward ER when their path is littered with exceptions.  After all, that is ultimately the point of MMM.

The topic title was interesting, but this appears to just be about soda.  Meh.  I don't care one way or the other about soda.

FWIW, if this topic were what I thought it was, I was preparing to argue that there is no such thing as a good addiction.

In fact, I'd take it even further and say there is no such thing as a good habit.

But this, apparently, is not that thread.

I agree!  At least, with the good addiction aspect of your posit.  Any addiction can potentially blind you from becoming irrational about the motivations behind the addiction. 

The no such thing as a good habit is interesting.  I've been thinking about that recently...the notion of a habit vs routine.  It's a fine line...I think.  A habit may be more involuntary...although I find a routine can put one on auto pilot...thus mimicking an involuntary behaviour.  Think examples like brushing teeth, or getting your things ready in the morning to start your day...I would definitely like to examine these 'involuntary' behaviours in more depth to see if they are optimized...lest they be like a person in a gorilla suit passing through a basketball game un-noticed... ;-)


grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4814
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2013, 07:22:53 AM »
Too much of life is lived on autopilot.  That's not a good thing, regardless of if you think you've already "optimized" it.
But willpower and conscious thought are finite resources. I agree that careful consideration of your life is important to a degree, but at some point can't you just leave well enough alone and allocate your limited brainpower elsewhere? (Maybe I'm misunderstanding the amount of reflection you're suggesting.)

It is applying the logic and thought process in everything that we do in an attempt to optimize our own lives and the health of the planet around us.  It is the essence of Mustachianism!  To dismiss something like alcoholism, or unfettered soda drinking, or compulsively collecting something as "OK" is to give in to the thinking that good enough...is.  It's going to be difficult for someone to trim other areas in a bid to successfully optimize a lifestyle toward ER when their path is littered with exceptions.  After all, that is ultimately the point of MMM.
I don't know about you, but I'm here for life satisfaction first and foremost, not ER. I'm still not even really in the accumulation phase, but I can tell you that I'm much more satisfied with my life now than I was before I found the site. I feel that a large component of my life satisfaction comes from knowing when to accept imperfection and allow myself to call something 'good enough' and focus my energy on something more valuable. It's half of why I don't clip coupons, for example. My grocery spending would be a little bit lower if I did, but the return on my time just isn't there and that brainpower could be put to more productive use elsewhere.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2013, 06:08:51 AM »
I feel that a large component of my life satisfaction comes from knowing when to accept imperfection and allow myself to call something 'good enough' and focus my energy on something more valuable.

I think Grant has said what I hoped to say better than I did. Probably because I rushed to post and he stopped to refl-- ah, shit!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28022
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2013, 08:41:01 AM »
But willpower and conscious thought are finite resources.

I disagree.

You don't need to provide links showing your side - I'm aware of the studies about willpower, resisting chocolate and then giving up quicker on a puzzle, etcetera.  That's another example - to me - of lack of reflection.  Had the people reflected upon doing the task and their willpower, they could have exercised more.  I'm assuming we'll just have to agree to disagree on this, but if you do have something you think is relevant besides the studies showing the willpower limitations, decision fatigue, etc. - even if anecdotal or theory, would love to discuss - just ready to jump past that next part. :)

Too much of life is lived on autopilot.  That's not a good thing, regardless of if you think you've already "optimized" it.
But willpower and conscious thought are finite resources. I agree that careful consideration of your life is important to a degree, but at some point can't you just leave well enough alone and allocate your limited brainpower elsewhere? (Maybe I'm misunderstanding the amount of reflection you're suggesting.)

Essentially what I'm suggesting is that we slip into habits so easily based on how we are wired, that we should reflect on them whenever we think to do so, because most of the time we'll forget to reflect anyways and just do.

Note, this is not an excuse for analysis paralysis: over-thinking and thus being stuck and not acting.  You should act, but reflect on your actions as well.

I don't know of a case where someone reflects too much.   Everyone reflects too little, IMO, and lives too much on autopilot, myself included.  Striving for more reflection* is a good thing.

*Reflection does not mean spending hours pouring over a topic you've already decided on - even a quick check-in "is this still best? yes? good" can often be the best method.  It should take very little energy, and do nothing but improve your life satisfaction, knowing you are constantly doing exactly what you want.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4870
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2013, 10:40:05 AM »
One man's necessity is another man's luxury.

Also, one man's luxury is another man's necessity.

Honestly, it's all a matter of perspective. Some people are going to choose to indulge in things other people find as a complete waste.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2013, 03:19:54 PM »
It may not be faster, better, or smarter, but I do believe it is more worthwhile.

Too much of life is lived on autopilot.  That's not a good thing, regardless of if you think you've already "optimized" it.

I agree with this....specifically the "Too much" part. 

Autopilot is great, it is efficient, it is safe, its memory, but it is also boring and complacent.  I regularly do things differently just because I want to...whether it be taking a left turn where the normal/safe/known route would have been safe or more recently stopping into an Asian grocery store that I was passing.  Both of these were highly inefficient but like Frost...taking the road less traveled, has made all the difference. 

Habit is good, but addiction to habit is bad....change is grand.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 10:32:15 AM »
I don't know of a case where someone reflects too much.

My mother....
...has wound up in the hospital and literally made herself sick because she has been reflecting and replaying every little detail of my wedding and how it could have been done differently (it was awesome, we did it all ourselves, and she did an amazing job at everything)

I'm finding this discussion really interesting, especially coming from a teaching background and working with children where the theory's come up quite a bit and balancing teaching "good habits and routines" and mindfulness and self-awareness, which is happening more and more in Canada right now among a few more aware teachers.

I tend to fall into the camp of there are no good addictions, as soon as something becomes an addiction - it can cause damage in your life in ways you don't even realize as soon as you "need" something it owns you.

Ottawa

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2013, 10:59:10 AM »
I tend to fall into the camp of there are no good addictions, as soon as something becomes an addiction - it can cause damage in your life in ways you don't even realize as soon as you "need" something it owns you.

I tend to agree that no addictions are good.  Especially ones you don't realize you have.  Many people are aware of certain things like "I can't stop drinking soda!",
however, you will have even more time kicking an addiction you don't even know you have!

I think the self-identification of many addictions is something that every one of us has trouble with.  That is why sometimes introspection through environments like MMM can cause light bulb moments from time to time for everyone.  For instance, I'm sure there are many people who realized, as of http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/10/01/the-low-information-diet/ that they had surreptitiously become hooked on (useless and/or harmful) information.  I know I tend to overdo news/useless websites.  Now I have to ask myself "Can I easily delete those favorites and declutter?": If not, "Do I have an addiction?". 


RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11400
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2013, 07:35:42 PM »
I'm certainly addicted to pop. When I try to go off it I get a horrible headache and wonderfully vivid dreams. I think the only way I could go off it is if it were declared illegal and I had no access to it. I know it's about as bad as eating battery acid, but it doesn't matter. I think it's better than some other things I could be addicted to however. I guess it's a socially acceptable addiction, even more-so than smoking.

Sounds like caffeine withdrawal.

And if your sodas are colas, talk with your dentist - the acids can etch your teeth.  Mine is very happy that I rarely drink soft drinks.  Colas are only good when they are with rum, 7-up is for black-currant syrup, and a 2 liter bottle of each lasts for months in my household.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11400
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Is there a Good Addiction vs Bad Addiction argument?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2013, 07:45:07 PM »
A well-thought out habit can be good,  as long as it is rethought as circumstances change.  I know where my car and house keys are because putting them back in my purse the instant I use them is a habit.  I know where things are in my purse because they have "homes" and get put back appropriately - that is a habit. My schedule is more flexible now, but when I was working (teaching) I would look at my schedule each semester and figure out what days were best for laundry (not wasting my weekend on laundry!), errands, etc.  Then that was the habit for that semester.  Empty the dishwasher while the morning water is boiling - habit.  Basically some activities are repetitive and can be pre-programmed.  That still leaves lots of room for thinking about choices and bringing variety/spontaneity into our lives.

Addictions - is it truly an addiction or something pleasurable that has become a habit?  Habits can be evaluated and changed if necessary.  Addictions are a lot harder.  Which is which depends on the person.  And we all do joke about it - I am "addicted" to chocolate, but not really, I would just like to eat it more often that I do or than is good for me.

OK, off my soapbox.