Final week, I used to be listening to Outsmarting Your self, an episode of the Hidden Mind podcast. It was in regards to the cognitive dissonance idea. Cognitive dissonance arises when motion conflicts with perception. This occurs on a regular basis. All of us need to be our genuine selves and behave accordingly. Nonetheless, our actions contradict our beliefs sometimes. When this happens, we both have to vary what we do or justify our actions in some way. Extra folks discover it simpler to justify their actions quite than change. Wow, that’s very attention-grabbing! Is there a method to make use of cognitive dissonance to assist us obtain our targets?
Right here is an instance of cognitive dissonance. I do know train is significant for a wholesome life. I’m getting older and I need to take pleasure in my retirement for a few years to return. Train and an excellent weight-reduction plan will assist me keep wholesome. That’s why I set a well being purpose each New 12 months.
This yr, my well being purpose was to stroll 8,000 steps per day. To date, my common is 5,465 per day and it’s dropping. I do know I ought to stroll extra, however I’m not. That is cognitive dissonance. Failing to stroll extra creates discomfort and I have to justify it in some way. Oh sure, I can do this. I’ve many excuses.
- I’m too busy.
- The climate is dangerous.
- I simply bought a motorcycle. I can bike extra as an alternative of strolling.
- I’m nonetheless wholesome. I can train extra after I’m older. Yeah, proper…
- It is a dangerous purpose. I’ll set a extra achievable well being purpose subsequent yr.
- My step counter simply broke. Yay! I don’t should face my failure anymore.
Sadly, I can give you loads of causes to keep away from strolling extra. The underside line is that this purpose is slipping additional and additional behind each month. I really feel dangerous about it, however not dangerous sufficient to place extra effort into it. Like most individuals, I’m too lazy. Our North American life-style makes it too simple to keep away from strolling. (That’s one other excuse!)
There is likely to be a method to repair this. I want to make use of one in all my core beliefs to assist obtain my well being purpose. One among my strongest core values is frugality. Subsequent yr, I’ll be part of a health club. As soon as I spend some cash, I’ll have a really robust drive to get worth out of it. It ought to be the motivation I have to train extra. I hate losing cash.
FIRE core beliefs
What about FIRE? Is there a method to make use of cognitive dissonance to assist obtain monetary independence and retire early?
I’m very fortunate as a result of my core values and behaviors already align with the FIRE rules. This made FIRE a lot simpler for me than most individuals. I’ll checklist just a few right here.
- Frugality – I’ve at all times been frugal. My household didn’t have a lot cash after I was younger. We saved cash in no matter method we might. Frugality caught and I nonetheless dislike spending cash unnecessarily.
- Optimism – Tomorrow might be higher than immediately. This perception allows me to save lots of and make investments persistently. Our funding will develop and life might be higher sooner or later. You need to be optimistic or else you gained’t retire early. Lots of people have to really feel safe and so they gained’t take any possibilities.
- Unconventional considering – I don’t thoughts being unconventional. Some folks want to slot in. They care so much about what folks suppose. I’d quite go my very own method. This enabled me to retire from my engineering profession after I was 38. All of my school pals are nonetheless slaving away within the salt mines. They’ve totally different values.
- Self-driven – I don’t want numerous exterior motivation. That is essential for early retirement. Some folks have a tough time with retirement as a result of their entire id is wrapped up with work. However early retirement was very simple for me. I don’t want folks to inform me what to do. I saved busy and I haven’t been bored but. There are such a lot of issues to do each day. Retirement might be harder for individuals who want exterior motivators.
These core beliefs assist me FIRE. I act accordingly so no cognitive dissonance right here. Sadly, FIRE is tougher for most individuals. Within the U.S., we’re conditioned from a younger age to take pleasure in spending cash and dwelling for immediately. It’ll be a lot tougher to attain monetary independence in case your core values don’t align with the FIRE rules. You may pressure your self to save lots of extra for some time, but it surely gained’t final. When you want acceptance, neglect about it. Nonetheless, there may be nonetheless hope if you happen to suppose saving for retirement is a good suggestion.
Unlock the facility of cognitive dissonance
There’s a good trick from the Hidden Mind episode that may assist. Psychologist Elliot Aronson instructed the listeners in regards to the hypocrisy paradigm. He used cognitive dissonance to assist folks act in accordance with their beliefs. He requested folks to advocate for one thing they imagine in. After they did that, they turned extra prone to take motion.
Within the episode, they gave three examples.
- Utilizing condoms.
- Taking shorter showers to preserve water.
The individuals believed these have been good concepts, however a lot of them didn’t observe by. Nonetheless, extra folks took motion after they turned an advocate. Within the voting experiment, they requested folks to name 3 pals and instructed them to vote. After they did this, the callers have been more likely to vote. By publicly endorsing the concept, you’ll be extra prone to take motion. No person desires to be a hypocrite.
FIRE is sweet
When you imagine FIRE is a good suggestion, however are having a tough time following by. The way in which to push ahead is to inform everybody about FIRE. Inform them you’re saving, investing, and also you’re in your method to monetary independence and early retirement. Changing into an advocate will allow you to attain your purpose. Oh wow, that’s what I’ve been doing for 11 years! I stumbled onto this hypocrisy paradigm factor with out realizing it. Being a FIRE blogger has been very useful for me. It saved me on this path and I’m very pleased with my life. If I can do it, anybody can.
In order that’s the tip from this weblog submit. In line with Aronson, the mantra is – “If I can do it, anybody can.” Inform folks this and also you’re extra prone to observe by with your individual motion. It’s a rattling good trick. Nonetheless, you need to already imagine FIRE is a good suggestion. It will allow you to observe by. It gained’t change your perception if you happen to suppose FIRE is a crackpot thought.
What do you consider this hypocrisy paradigm idea? It sounds legit to me. Possibly I ought to begin an train weblog…
*Passive earnings is the important thing to early retirement. Today, I’m investing in multifamily properties with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the US. Go verify them out!
picture credit score: Ben White
Passive earnings is the important thing to early retirement. This yr, Joe is investing in industrial actual property with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the USA so verify them out!
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