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Don’t subsist

Discontent often drives us to be creative and have breakthroughs.

However, there are things that can temporarily squash down discontent, and throw a wrench in the natural process of change.

I call these subsistence devices.

Subsistence devices

= temporary solutions to your needs that prevent you from getting discontent enough to change for the better.

For example, take TV, YouTube, or Twitch. Instead of living an interesting life, you watch others do it for you. You get the benefit of novelty, without the effort (and also without the satisfaction).

Another example could be compulsive Twitter use. It provides great novelty, but not in a useful, targeted manner. It subverts curiosity that would otherwise be turned to something more relevant to you.

Paid time off can be also viewed in this light. It gives you just enough freedom to let yourself be shackled for the rest of the year.

These temporary solutions make you not change. The time that would be used to make up your mind, make decisions, and change will now be squandered.

Deep discontent is one of the greatest resources on Earth. That's a mental state in which painful truths are faced and decisions are made.

But that doesn't happen if you're distracted perpetually with something that gives you just enough validation and comfort to stay put.

Avoid subsistence devices. Stay discontent long enough to change.