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…embrace dread


I recently read an article that referenced a psychological study on the disvalue of future pain. Essentially, the study found evidence to support the hypothesis that people prefer expedited pain versus the thought of waiting. More importantly, in some cases, test subjects preferred to receive a stronger pain stimulus sooner vs wait for a weaker one later. However, there is a point in time where the effects are attenuated due to the passage of time. The example used is a painful Dentist appointment 8 months out may not be as dreadful as one a month out…etc.

This begs the question in general, how do we apply this notion to our daily decisions? Granted, as with any study, one can dismiss results, question methods and/or present an arguing case. That being said, the notion is valid, at least based on some of my experiences.

The takeaway that intrigued me was a reminder that ultimately anticipation carries a cost…but the cost decays. There is an apparent arc of dread. 

How do we use this to our advantage?

I can tell you that I certainly prefer to complete activities under artificially induced pressure. Sometimes, it is due to deliberate procrastination…to a certain point, of course. Other times it is with over-analysis and polishing the bb, as an old friend used to say.

Needless to say, that I need to time the events and deliverable so that I can ensure the right balance of engagement with purpose and motivation in order to produce quality. Personally, this approach is empowering and allows complete clarity to task and purpose.

Ultimately, my dread is sliding down the arc!

What do you dread?

…make wise choices

-sk

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