Improve Your Every Day Life By Changing
Sometimes the only thing we do in life, is stay consistent. COVID has given us a glimpse of what life is like, when change is minimized. In the sense that certain rules have been set up that provide a guide on how your life should be lived. Wear a mask, only go to bars and restaurants that are safe, do not travel far, stay out till 10pm (some of us get to stay out till 10.30pm). In each country the extent of this is varying widely. None the less, a certain kind of COVID induced reality has sunk in. If your lock down measures have been lifted, you are probably going back to your old routine as much as you can. If they are not, hey I’m sure you have found a new routine. As one of my favourite author’s puts it Fyodor Dostoevsky —
‘Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.’
Before you know it, if you want it or not. A new normal becomes normal. Humans have this great talent of adapting to new situations quite quickly and with ease. We try to build a status quo as soon as possible to limit the effort it takes us each time to get used to a new situation. Status quo can be describe as your every day routine, your situation at a default, a kind of pattern and structure created in your life.Say it rains everyday, you will find ways to have an umbrella handy before you leave the house. Say the sun shines five days in a row, you will have sun glasses in your bag. You shift and adjust. It’s human nature to build status quos, to find the path of least resistance. This is known as the status quo bias “when people prefer things to stay the same by doing nothing (see also inertia) or by sticking with a decision made previously” (Samuelson, & Zeckhauser, 1988). This rests on the assumption that we weigh potential losses of switching from the status quo more heavily than the potential gains. As a result, people prefer not to switch at all. In other words, we tend to oppose change unless you can be sure the benefits outweigh the risk. So even when the world changes around us, we continue to build status quos and we continue to stick to them, even if they are not good for us.
So what I’m telling you to do, is to challenge your status quo. Reevaluate the situation you are currently in and ask yourself if this really works for you or if you have just accepted it as the new norm. I do not encourage you to do something illegal or harmful to others (like not wearing your mask) but rather, figure out ways to make the wearing a mask enjoyable for you – if you mind it – like making your own one, or having a variation that fits to your outfit. That’s just a minor thing. Try a new restaurant or if that’s too crazy something on the menu you have never tried before. Don’t accept your status quo. No one is so happy they can’t shake things up a bit, worst case you just end up appreciating what you had before even more.