Today we’re talking about the cost of our vices. These aren’t deadly sins, but rather the things we come to rely on, even though we know they’re not good for us.
The short-term comfort or energy we get from our vices has a long-term cost, whether this is financial, physical or emotional. We spend time working to afford something that’s supposed to distract us from the fact we’re working so much.
Learn how a 4-Day Work Week Lifestyle can help to combat this vicious cycle.
Watch the video above (or listen or read below) for the full lesson so you can take the next step towards creating and maintaining a #4DayWorkWeek
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What are your vices costing you in terms of money, time, happiness, and freedom?
When we look at how we live our lives, there are a couple different ways we can do things. If we have very few vices in our lives, we can earn our income in less time. We have time to enjoy life and get our rest, which means we don't need external things to satisfy us as much. I've found that when I’m working a 4-Day Work Week, the more I'm taking time off, the less I need vices to help me do things or get over things.
By vices, I don’t necessarily mean anything terrible. I mean the things that most of us use in some form or fashion, like smoking, alcohol, drugs, coffee, energy drinks, fried foods, highly processed foods, or refined sugar. I know I've got a couple on that list.
I call them vices because they’re not good for us, not because they’re mortal sins or anything like that. But we know these things aren't helping us get what we want to get in the long run, and yet sometimes we need that pick-me-up. We need the energy, or we need the focus to work harder, or to feel good about ourselves. That can help us in the short run, but usually there's a long-term cost to that.
The Price of Our Vices
Our vices can have many negative effects on us, and cost us in lots of different ways.
Usually we need money to afford our vices and, depending on what the vice is, that might be small, or it might be a lot. If it's alcohol and you're having one beer at home that you bought at the store, maybe not a big deal. If you're regularly dropping $20 or more on drinks at a bar, that might be rather costly financially.
So there's the financial cost of what it takes to afford them. We're spending time working to afford the vice that's supposed to help us get over the fact that we're working so much, which is a pretty vicious cycle when you think about it.
If your vice is energy drinks or coffee, these are things that will give us short-term energy, but we know in the long run they're either leading to our illness or some sort of condition. It might not be an easy to diagnose condition, but rather something like insomnia, stress, or high blood pressure.
Either way, they're not helping us in the long run. We're becoming less healthy. We're less energetic in the long run and we're constantly having to go back to that artificial source of energy.
This is where things can start getting not as fun to talk about. I spent some time when I during my master's degree in psychology working with kids with addictions. Some kids really didn't have addictions, they just depended on something in a minor way or they though it helped them.
And then some I saw really did have addiction and they needed some sort of vice, whether cigarettes or drugs or alcohol or something, either to fit in or to feel like they were included. Or even more so, just to deal with the emotions that were coming up for them.
This is not a judgment. I'm not looking to put you down. If this is where you're at, that’s understood. This is just an opportunity to think about the things that we rely on. I feel really good when I eat sugar, for a while. And then after a while, I don't. Once again, these are all things that in the long run are going to leave us dependent on external things for stability, and that's usually not a good thing.
Our vices might help us to get short-term focus, but again, there are long-term risks of illness or damage, whether it’s energy drinks, too much coffee, or caffeine pills. Well, somewhere in our brain or in our intuition we know there's going to be a price to pay for this somewhere. We might not know what it is. Maybe it's not been studied, but we usually know when something is going to impact us in a negative way. And just because we don't know what that is doesn't mean it's not happening.
I know there are a lot of different ways to define addiction, but this is the best way I've learned to understand what addiction is. My understanding of addiction is when you're using something that can't fix something to make it right.
If I'm thirsty, I might drink water. That's going to work. But if I'm feeling insecure about myself, which is an emotional need, and I grab a beer, which is a physical substance that would meet a psychological need, the beer isn't going to make me feel better about myself, at least in the long run.
And so if I over-depend on that thing, if I over-depend on that external solution or that external intervention to what's really an internal issue, like me not feeling good about myself, that's really a core definition of what addiction is or how that plays out.
Breaking the Cycle
Again, I’m not here to make any of this wrong or tell you you're a bad person if you do this. All of us have something that doesn't help us. Many of us like a drink now and then, or have a soft spot for cake, or whatever it is. This isn’t about trying to stop you from doing that entirely, but rather just understanding what it costs us, and knowing if we’re in a positive or negative cycle with these things.
As we depend more on vices, we have lower quality of energy, less focus, or at least less sustained focus, lower quality work, lower income, and less time freedom. This means we need to work more to pay our bills, we have less rest, and we have a greater need for our vices.
And if we have fewer vices, we have a higher quality of energy, more focus. We're able to do better work. We're able to earn, generally, a higher income, or at least over the long run we'll earn a higher income, which is going to allow us to have more time freedom if we want that, which will require us to work less, get more rest, and then we'll have less need for vices. So that's a virtuous cycle, and we're aiming to move in that direction.
The Bigger Picture
Since our focus here is on the 4-Day Work Week and having the time to create the life we want, what it really boils down to is this: more vices lead to more work. Fewer vices lead to less need for work.
Of course, if you want to work, that’s great. But being able to be in the position where you can choose is a very powerful position. So whatever your vices are, just start to do them less. You don't have to completely make them go away, unless it's something really severe. Just do them less, and have that intention.
Some people really obsess over this stuff and then they turn it into another thing to stress about and they beat themselves up. And other people just say, “OK, I smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Next week I'm going to smoke 19. And the week after that I'm going to smoke 18. And then I'm just going to go down. I'm going to go 20, 18, 16, whatever it is. I'm just going to do it less.”
Cutting down your vices doesn't have to be dramatic, unless it's something really horrible for you or if a doctor's told you to stop. But for the most part, most of these things are just about creating a better life for ourselves, which then puts us in the situation where we're more likely to create the lifestyle we want.
The Next Step
If you specifically want help on creating your game plan on how to get to a 4-Day Work Week and how to sustain that, go to 4daygameplan.com. There, I share tools and some training videos and exercises to help you create and map out your 4-Day Work Week Game Plan.
It has to start somewhere. In my case, it took me 22 years to get there, because I didn’t have a game plan, and I wasn’t fully focused. If I’d had this, I probably could've got there in about half the time or even a quarter of the time. I don't think it'll take you 22 years to get your 4-Day Work Week. If it's something you have on your mind and you start working towards this, then this is a great place to start.
If you have any questions on this, shoot me an email. As always, I look forward to helping you make more money in less time doing what you do best so you can create the life you most desire for you, your friends, your family, and your loved ones.
Envision & Create the Game Plan for you to start working a 4-Day Work Week.
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It all starts with a VISION and a PLAN.
Learn this simple process for creating the GAME PLAN that can serve as your road map.
The 4-Day Work Week Apprentice
Learn to start moving towards a 4-Day Work Week lifestyle WITHOUT changing jobs.
Whether you are an employee, entrepreneur or business owner, you can make more of the life you currently have.
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