I am a long-time follower of author Gretchen Rubin, who studies and writes about happiness, habits and human nature. On her website, she has a quiz to help you determine which of the Four Tendencies you are: an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel or an Obliger. Some time ago I took the quiz, and I was surprised to learn that I am a Rebel!
It turned out to be an exciting and validating moment, because after reading the descriptions and letting it all sink in, I realized how true it rang for me. But as I finished her book and searched on line, there was a dearth of Rebel advice. It kind of sounded like if you’re a Rebel, you’re out of luck and on your own. (Rebels don’t like to follow other peoples’ examples; we may have heard all of the advice and read all the books, but we have to do it our way.)
I realized the other day with glee, however, that this is why The $20 Challenge works for me — because I came up with the idea on my own, of no one else’s doing, and I’m now saving money MY way.
It also got me thinking about additional areas of my life where I’ve long tried to follow other peoples’ examples without realizing why it never works. With food, for example, I’ve read pretty much every diet (and non-diet) book out there, but while there are some basic tenets I agree with (limit sugar consumption for better overall health; just eat real food), I don’t often feel like I can stick to one single plan or way of eating. Sometimes I juice; sometimes my veg goes rotten. Sometimes I’m off coffee; other days I can’t live without it. As a Rebel, if you tell me what to do, I’ll probably think, “Yeah, I already know that” — and continue doing my own thing.
So by noticing how successful The $20 Challenge has been thus far, I have been wondering…how can I apply this to eating? Organizing? Raising my kids? Exercise? It feels like if I’m not doing something, it’s because I haven’t found My Right Way yet. So what IS my way?
It raises lots of questions — and I’m glad. This project was never meant to be only about the money. The questions behind the questions always supply the most interesting answers.
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