Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance

I've figured out what my problem is: cognitive dissonance; in my case, the internal stress created by the way I think my life should be and the way it actually is.

My perfect day:

6:00 a.m. — Wake up; exercise; scripture study; personal hygiene; sit on my front porch and think a bit.

8:00 a.m. — Start writing; blogging first to meet my commitments, then concentrating on my WIP.

11:30 a.m. — Lunch & laundry break

12:00 p.m. —Work in my other hopefully income producing businesses: publishing, editing, typesetting, UB

4:00 p.m. —Family, clean, dinner, etc.

6:00 p.m. —Play UB party or read or sit on my front porch and think a bit more.

10:00 p.m. —Go to bed

My problem is, I actually believe that some day I will have this perfect day. Then, if I can have it once, I should be able to have it every day.

The way cognitive dissonance works is the greater the distance between the ideal and reality, the greater the stress. The only cure for cognitive dissonance is to either change your beliefs or change your behaviors. The trouble is, I have one belief system that says to hold on to your dreams and keep trying and eventually you'll succeed and another belief system that says to quit trying to manage everything and just accept life on life's terms. Another dissonant cogtate.

Can I just say that on a scale from 1-10, my cognitive dissonance stress is 23?

But as I was whining about this in my journal this morning, I realized something. It is the discomfort that cognitive dissonance creates that leads me to act, to learn, to grow, to try new things, to create. Without it, I would probably do nothing.

I suppose I should be grateful for that. And I will be—I've penciled it in for 5:45 p.m. on my perfect day.

Now playing on my iPod: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the Judy Garland version, which is the one true version of that song; unless, of course, McKenna is singing it. I like her voice better.


G. Parker said...

If only, if only, ...
We all have days that are CLOSE to our perfect days...right? You have to cherish when they come and NOT stress when they don't.
Have a good one!

Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, this week at The Judy Garland Experience we are featuring audio files of Judy's performance at Westbury Music Fair, which also includes surprise appearances by Peter Allen and Liza Minnelli. And if that isn't enough, there is also an ultra rare joint BBC appearance by Judy and Shirley Bassey, as well as other audio odds and ends. The Judy Experience is a popular group on Yahoo, that, along with amazing audio files, has great photo files, and some of the livliest discussions anywhere. Stop by and check our little Judyville out, you may never want to leave!

Candace Salima . . . the LDS Nora Roberts said...

Okay, now there's a name for problem. Cognitive Dissonance -- now I just need to change my ways.

Thanks, Karlene. By the way, I have someone who needs a typesetter, so if you're up to taking in some work, please contact me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

You know, the way this phenomenon is labeled makes it sound like a disorder. But you make a very valid point -- it's that very thing that keeps us trying for more. Let's say we overcame our "disorder" and were content with everything just how it was. No one would create, no one would write, no one would ever try to acheive more than what they are. I think that would be terrible.

I think what we need to do is find ways to grow and change without getting down on ourselves that it hasn't changed already.

Sandra said...

I've got that cognitive dissonance thing down pat. Now to work on making it not so strong, but just enough to keep me motivated instead of floundering, or stopped all together.

Anonymous said...

finally i understand what my problem is--- it is cognitive dissonance.... thanks for clearing it up for me :) suan

Suan said...

It worked. You can comment now.