Surfing Motivational Waves

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is … . A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.
C. S. Lewis

A very interesting model when it comes to persuasive technology (using computers to persuade people to do things) is the Fogg Behavior Model. I recommend his website for a quick overview or this «The Art of Manliness» Podcast.

One thing that Fogg stresses is that motivation fluctuates, so making things easier to do (or harder if you don’t want to do them) is the way to go. In a similar vein, an ex-addict once mentioned that you have to «surf the craving behavior». You will have cravings, but they come in waves. As long as you stay above the wave, and do not get caught in it, you’re fine.

Looking back at a few cravings — yeah, there’s something to be said for waiting until the wave gets lower, i.e., the motivation to do a bad habit subsides. Or using the high motivation to do a task you *have* to do, but that’s hard.

For good habits/actions it’s probably not a good way to live (much to chaotic), but for bad habits, yep. Whether it’s distraction with something that is less bad, or Yoga, or meditation, or prayer, or simply going to bed. Just wait until the wave has passed.