14:02 Sunday 12th August 2018

"A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell." - GB Shaw

There's a notion in psychology that each person has their own optimim stress level. Go significantly far below that, and you're not motivated to act. Go above it, and you get a whole range of results, none of them good.

The level and quality of your work suffers. You may panic, resulting in undirected, randomised action. Or you may feel strained, resulting in a progressive shut down, lock up, indecisiveness, paralysis, freeze.

The idea is that stress itself is just another word for motivation. But get the intensity wrong, and the result is de-motivation.

So here's a thought: Being trapped is similar.

Having a social group ... negotiating an incoherent, shifting web of interpersonal agendas. Owning a home ...  being tied down to one place. Having clear rules ... getting crushed by the system.

Jail is by definition a trap. And punishments in jail consist in reducing freedom even further. But some people <i>like</i> it, the same way some sign up to the army for the rigid discipline. Marriage is a trap. It's also called "a stable home life", "the warmth of close family", "having someone you can rely on".

So if you want to be happy, figure out how trapped you want to be.

1 comment:

  1. As long as I've got access to good food and drinks, I'll be okay!
    Unlike Mr Shaw, I would love a perpetual holiday!