← Asceticism through abundance

Common knowledge says that to change your behavior, simply change your environment. If you put your television away, then you won’t be tempted to watch all night. If there’s no WiFi at home, then there’s no way for you to waste hour upon hours scrolling Twitter. But for some reason this has never worked for me.

Especially for behaviors I dislike, it’s the perceived scarcity that creates value. The moment I tried to stop watching YouTube or playing video games, the more I was unable to stop. The solution wasn’t to limit myself more, blocking off something that can be useful or entertaining, but to allow myself to indulge as much as possible. When I flood my personal choice “market” with option, they no longer hold value simply because they are perceived as scarce.

Doing so also helped me refine my values. Watching videos didn’t matter more to me than creating, I had just messed up my utility function.

P.S. To anyone who studies economics, I’m sorry.