Daniel Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard, observed this interesting phenomenon called the “region-beta paradox”. The story comes from someone who makes it a habit to walk to places within a mile away and bike to areas that are further in the distance.
As a result, places that are closer or easier to get to take longer. More distressing things are solved with more ease than less distressing things. And this pattern happens everywhere.
If someone is in an inferior, second-rate relationship, they will be less likely to end it to find something excellent than if they were in a terrible relationship. The same is true with a dull job. Someone experiencing something with minimal distress provides a disservice to them. If their lives were significantly worse, they would likely take action to make them better. Stress has always been a catalyst of change, and perhaps that is why many find themselves procrastinating as a method of motivation.
It’s also peculiar that if you take hot water and put it in the cold, it will freeze faster than if you put cold water in the cold. You can try this with a freezer with two cups of water, one hot and one cold, and see which one freezes faster. It seems to be that more challenging obstacles may often be more accessible to solve than small obstacles.
Good is the enemy of great. As good tends to slip by without challenging our standards.
Good traps us in living mediocre lives.
Perhaps this is why you haven’t redesigned your website yet because it’s okay. Maybe this is why you haven’t been disciplined about your diet yet because you’re “healthy enough.” Perhaps this is why you’ve decided to settle on one way or another because what you have today just not bad enough to make you act.
If life was worse, how would you act to make it better?