Expensive Chips

A while back, I wrote about my weakness for chips from the vending machine at work. None of the ideas I had then for avoiding the siren call have worked, so I’m trying something new:

I bet several of my office mates that I wouldn’t eat chips from the vending machine. If they catch me doing it, I will pay them $50.

This plan implements lots of the advice I’ve seen about making changes like this:

  • Accountability: So far, five people at the office know I’m trying to make this change, and they’ll be watching me. I plan to invite a few more to join the fun.
  • External control: I’ve moved the issue out of my obviously-not-so-good control.

But most of all, it’s pretty simple: $50 is a lot to pay for a few chips. I have no intention of paying it – I have too many other things I’d prefer to save that money for.

I confess that this is not my idea: I first read about it on Maneesh Sethi’s blog, but at the time, it didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do it myself. I felt that I should be able to just “control myself,” and I didn’t like the idea of admitting defeat.

But now that I’ve made the bet, I don’t feel defeated, I actually feel good. No one is perfect at everything, and everyone has their weaknesses. One of mine happens to be junk food. There’s no shame in that. It would be shameful continue to lie to myself. Defeat would be blindly continuing to do something that obviously doesn’t work.

This, though… this is going to work. I’ll bet you $50 that it will.

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