Beware of cleansing

Category: Lifestyle

I’m finding increasingly beneficial to violate quality habits from time to time. Mix safe and reliable customs (which generally yield profound results), with something degenerate on an occasional basis. This goes beyond something simply riskier and more potent, with rewards hidden on the tail end of the distribution. I refer to compromising actions even (no chance of rewards local to that round), provided bounded pitfalls.

I appeal to such de-cleansing in pursuit of ultimately strengthening the overall system. Nassim Taleb refers to this approach as introducing the (necessary) local fragilities (and harm) for a globally strengthened and anti-fragile system. Let’s now proceed to something less abstract. Let me demonstrate one of my fragile “systems”.

I exercise several habits:

Some of the above are nothing new and sound natural. Others you may consider more cutting edge. But there’s a factor of commonality between all. Whenever I’m in conditions that violate the above habits, all fragilities I’ve worked to eradicate turn against me. Let’s explore.

One fragility has become exchanged for another. There exist, however, preventive measures:

Can I imagine eating plain awful degenerate foods on some scheduled basis? No. Disgusting. However, maybe a portion of rice or potatoes, late-in-the-day caffeine, or beyond-the-norm alcohol content once in a couple of weeks may serve to minimize the impact of unpredictable disturbances. Or maybe not. Don’t appeal to me for medical advice.

Open question: where does one draw the line between principles and humility?

Questions, comments? Connect.