“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”Bertrand Russell
There’s a phenomenon, known as the Hawthorne effect, were we modify our behavior in we know we are being observed. Anecdotally, I’ve experienced this to be true. I’m much more likely to keep a habit, such as sticking to healthy food, when I know friends are watching (especially when those friends are super healthy themselves.) You also see this everywhere online and on social media. Online, anonymity can (not always) allow one to vent their discontentment through negativity and ugliness. On social apps like Instagram, people (including myself) naturally want to curate their lives into a perfect collage of photos and funny videos.
But what about when we are observing our own behaviors?
One of the strongest benefits of having a daily ‘observational’ habit — journaling, blogging, vlogging, podcasting — is being able to look at your life daily with a perspective eye.
Instead of mindlessly channel-surfing / scrolling through life, you become much more aware with who you are and you become more in tune with what you want out of life.
Daily blogging has been a big fat magnifying glass to my thoughts and beliefs. And, more importantly, it’s an immediate feedback loop for what I need to improve and work harder on. Instead of blaming life (and everything under the sun except myself) for my problems and shortcomings, I can immediately see what’s working or not working and act on it.
Observing yourself gives you no excuses not to improve.
What am I doing that’s interesting?
What do I spend my time on?
How am I pushing yourself and my abilities to new heights?
Why am I doing what you’re doing?
And why am I doing it this why?
Questions like these intuitively pop up in your mind. Patterns emerge. Things you like, things you dislike. Instead of just going through the motions of life, you can see and then experiment your way towards a desirable outcome.
Life moves fast, like a summer rain — one second it’s there the next second its not.
It’s difficult to change when you don’t know what you need to change.
I highly recommend starting a daily observational habit, even if it’s just for yourself.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
Daily Blog #621