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91% of Resolutions...

Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 23 January 2024…

Hey Y’all!

Good evening and happy Tuesday from Air2Ground Farms! The weather is awful! That is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. We have gone from below zero temps, to an ice storm, to flooding. It was so cold for so long that the ground froze about 5 inches deep. On top of the frozen ground, about a half inch of freezing rain fell. Because the ground was frozen, the freezing rain immediately turned to a layer of ice. The temps warmed and the freezing rain turned to plain old rain but it wasn’t warm enough to melt the ice or thaw the ground. Thus, our hilly dirt roads have a wet half inch layer of ice and all of the water is running off and flooding the creeks and rivers. Like I said, awful. Tuesday is our trash day. We have to drive our bags a couple of miles of dirt road to a Y in the road and leave the bags to be picked up. The bags are still in the back of the truck. I made it about 3/4 of the way up the hill outside our driveway before the 1-Ton Crew-Cab 4x4 dual-rear-wheel pick-up truck started sliding down the hill backwards. After sliding into the embankment beside the road, I was able to get it under control and slowly slide back down the hill. Maybe next week. The animals are handling the weather just fine. The top pic is the hogs warm inside their hut. That morning, it was negative 4 degrees with a negative 17 windchill. They weren’t very excited to come out to eat their breakfast. I roused them from their warm bed because the fermented feed was freezing in their troughs and turning to ice blocks. The next pic is the icicles forming in the freezing rain. The final pic is one of our solar chargers covered in ice. By this time next week, it’s supposed to be 50 degrees and sunny. I’ll take it!

Shelley and I have been discussing the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance, especially when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions and eating/dieting. In 1957, Leon Festinger published A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and it has been one of the most influential theories in psychology. The theory basically states that there is mental turmoil when your beliefs don’t match your actions. The typical example used to explain the theory is smoking cigarettes. When a person believes that smoking is bad for them but continues to smoke, there is stress due to the incongruence between the belief and the action. The stress can be as mild as feeling guilty to as severe as clinical depression. Studies show that by the 3rd week of January, 91% of people who made New Year’s Resolutions are no longer adhering to the resolution. The most common resolutions have to deal with health and wellness, from exercising more to losing weight to eating better. What that tells me is that right about now, the emotional stress in at least 91% of people should be mounting. There was a belief that made people make their resolutions. They are now not adhering to those resolutions. Thus, they are in a state of cognitive dissonance and should be experiencing some level of emotional stress. The theory can be viewed as a balanced mathematical equation. Balance is achieved when belief equals action. When belief does not equal action, the equation becomes unbalanced. There are three different methods to bring the equation back into balance. Two are fairly obvious, change belief or change behavior. Those are both very difficult to do…back to the example, it is difficult to believe smoking is good for you but it is also difficult to stop smoking. The third way to balance the equation is way easier, and I believe the typical way people deal with their cognitive dissonance. In order to return balance, a person can justify the action with such conviction that it overcomes the belief system. For smoking it normally sounds like: if I stop, I will gain weight; I’ll just smoke until…; I get so up tight when I don’t smoke; etc. The justifications pile up on the action side of the equation such that there becomes a mental balance with the belief. I submit to you that while justification may be the most common, and probably easiest, way to relieve the stress of cognitive dissonance, it isn’t the best way. To permanently resolve the dissonance, a person must change their belief or their behavior; as eventually the justifications lose their effectiveness in balancing the equation and stress ensues.

In Monday’s Dust’er Mud Podcast we discussed the Chevron Deference Doctrine and how it incorporated the power of all three branches of government into the Executive branch, effectively eliminating the Balance of Power the Founding Fathers intended. Check it out!


Psycho & Shelley

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