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I think too much and my brain is overloaded, so there’s no room for creative ideas

Sanity Tax

SANITY TAX@2x

The Context

The emotional and psychological burden of having to think about certain things can be very high. Which doesn’t mean those things are not worth thinking about at all, but we do our nervous system a disservice when we psychologically tie ourselves to more things than are necessary. Isn’t life already burdensome enough? Why not free ourselves from these albatrosses that keep flying after us everywhere we go?

The Tool

two color

Sanity Tax

SANITY TAX -- Paying a minor cost for something that is disproportionate to the massive value you get in return for having it

Leverage is when you take proactive action to wipe a problem out of your life. Even if that means incurring some kind of opportunity cost, it’s worth it for the privilege to not think about something ever again. Because we all have things like this in our lives. There is some minor cost that is disproportionate to the massive value we get in return. And so, instead of taking the path of most resistance, we choose to pay a little bit more to get what we need rather than settling for less out of guilt, pride, consistency or frugality. We invest money to save time and reduce stress and increase joy, not the other way around. It’s harder than you think. Retraining and reorienting your brain requires discipline, intention and attention. Deciding that your sanity is worth protecting with a reasonable tax of time, talent, treasure, that’s some serious adult stuff. One question you might introduce into your leverage lexicon is, how could you never have this problem again? It may sound like hyperbole, but in many cases, there is a disproportionately small action you can take to find the answer.

Amazon probably sells something for a nominal fee that can make all your troubles fade away like a fart in the wind. Like those ergonomic memory foam office chair armrest pads for my desk. Now my elbows have relief from that pesky pressure I just accepted and put up with for a year. Seventeen dollars. Never have to have that problem again. None of my coworkers have followed suit yet, but that’s because they don’t understand the concept of the sanity tax. They haven’t trained themselves to identify moments in which it’s absolutely worth every penny to pay.

The Rest

Do yourself a favor. Remove the cause of the problem now and prevent future occurrences. Think of this liberation as a form of generosity and compassion in your relationship with yourself. If you never want to have this stupid problem again, do what someone who loved themselves might do. Pay the sanity tax. Are you automatically pushing buttons without thinking about whether they’re still relevant to your happiness?

The Benefits

Save time, reduce stress, increase joy and protect your sanity
Remove the cause of stupid problems today and prevent future occurrences
Eliminate your emotional and psychological burden of having to think about things
Instead of taking the path of most resistance, we choose to pay a little bit more to get what we need rather than settling for less out of guilt, pride, consistency or frugality

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