Draw up your own constitution

Another post, another weird-sounding idea… But if there is one idea that can really kick-start your journey to a happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable life, it is this one.

Before we get to that though, we first have to recap on the previous two posts on how the mind works and the role of willpower. Here is the short version: During the 350000 years that we have walked the earth as Homo sapiens, our brains evolved an enormously strong drive towards instant pleasure and away from instant pain as a simple, but very effective survival mechanism. This kept us fed, clothed and protected in the very harsh environment we found ourselves in, but now it represents a serious problem: Our environment has changed completely over the last 100 years or so, while our brains have stayed essentially the same. 


Today, we still chase instant pleasure and avoid instant pain. The only problem is that we repeatedly gain instant pleasure by simply swiping a piece of plastic and gorging on an enormous chocolate and avoid rather ridiculous potential sources of instant “pain” like public speaking or an innocent little spider that ventured into the house (while ignoring all the really scary things like climate change, resource depletion, lifestyle-induced degenerative disease or a virtually broke retirement).

Environmental choice

As all of us have experienced, we cannot override these instinctive drives through pure willpower. All we can do is to intelligently alter our environment to ensure that these incredibly strong drives push us in the right direction. This is what the One in a Billion project is all about: building intelligent micro-environments within which happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable living happens automatically and naturally.

In order to make this work, however, you have to consistently do two things: construct these intelligent micro-environments and spend most of your time within these intelligent micro-environments. This sounds pretty simple, but can become a bit tricky. And yes, this is where your very own constitution can work miracles.

preamble_to_the_united_states_constitutionThis constitution of yours should be a very short, simple and personal document that basically states that you will consistently construct, maintain and utilize the aforementioned intelligent micro-environments. And it should be enforced by your willpower – a few seconds at a time (just about as long as willpower usually lasts).

Let’s quickly look at a simple example: the healthy nutritional micro-environment discussed in a previous chapter. In order to set up this environment, your willpower will uphold your constitution through short directives such as ordering healthy food from a grocery delivery service, enrolling in a healthy cooking course or initiating the process of making a large batch of your favorite green drink. In order to utilize this environment, your willpower will uphold your constitution by grabbing a hunger buster every time it encounters an irrational craving. Simple.

To clarify further, the example posts coming later will share my personal constitution as a tried and tested example.

Filed under: Mental control – Basic control

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