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Cognitive Dissonance

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Have you ever been excited to try a new activity, hobby, or job, only to find out that it wasn't all you thought it would be? How do you feel when you finally get involved and your new venture isn't as fun or easy and you imagined? Interest still remains, but your lack of efficiency and success at this new task leaves you lacking for want.

Especially related to behavorial decisions and attitude change; this state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes is at first frustrating. But, when you realize that growth and change are taking hold in your life then the frustration can turn to encouragement.

Hear me out.

I have struggled with a dreaming mind my whole life. I think and wonder constantly about ideas, ambitions, new directions, and entrepreneurial endeavors. I love this about myself because my days are never boring and this invigorating feeling keeps me young at heart. The downfall is that I am always wanting to take on new tasks and strive towards new projects. Once I figure out how to do something new, I want to conquer it, perfect it, and then move on to the next thing. There hasn't been that one job or hobby that I love and that will keep my interest for life eternal.

What does this say about me? Some might say that I have trouble focusing, like a child with ADD. Others may think that I am undecided in life and that I don't know what I want. It took me almost 45 years, but I finally have zeroed in on what makes me tick in life.

I like to do things the hard way. And, by the way, this is not a flattering trait. It frustrates me.

Innately, I feel that I need to struggle. Engaging in a task at it's most difficlut point helps me understand it (and all it's strife) at the most basic level. Once I know how hard something is, then improving on it makes me feel fulfilled. But, I would be better served if I were to learn from those who came before me, use their advice, and build up from there.

Cognitive Dissonance (having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially when participating in new tasks, decisions, or behaviors) became a goal for me. Crazy, huh? I had to fail at a sales job to learn how to succeed at it. I tackled a drug habit to learn how to shake it. I have farmed acres of land by hand to learn how to understand how plants grow. I spent thousands of dollars advertising my book before learning how to easily and inexpensively market my book with much greater success. These examples are not the most efficient ways to succeed at said activities, but it is the path I took.

Finally at the age of 45 I am admitting to myself that I take the long and winding road far too often. As the summer comes to an end I am pledging to make life easier for myself. My mental struggles will thank me for it and my family and friends will enjoy my company more, I'm sure.

Most of you reading this probably took the advice from your parents at a young age and chose the path of least resistence to strive for success and happiness. I'm here to remind you at a middle age, to do the same. Take it easy on yourself. Remember to live in the present. Make your days manageable. Keep your focus outward (not on yourself) and life will come to you as it should. One moment at a time.

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