Most nights before I go to sleep, I set an alarm on my phone. I set it knowing it probably won't even be necessary as I have a seperate alarm clock named Carter. He is a very effective alarm, although he always wakes me before I actually need to be woken, sometimes several hours before I need to be worken.
But on those mornings when it's my alarm that rouses me from my sleep, I switch off the alarm and roll over for an extra few minutes.
Now I am not new to the alarm system, I know how it all works. You set the alarm at the time you actully need to get up, or if you are prone to wanting to have an extra snooze, set it a little earlier. I choose to set it when I actually need to get up as I don't want to be woken any earlier than necessary. When morning rolls around however, I always want the extra few minutes as well.
These few extra minutes almost always result in a mad rush to shove breakfast down the kids throats, pack lunches, dress the boys, throw a hoodie on over my pyjamas and run out the door...LATE.
I am a bit of a stickler for punctuality and I hate being late. So, I wonder, why is it that I knowingly set my alarm at a time when I know that unless my feet hit the floor ten seconds after it goes off, we will be rushing around like chickens with our heads chopped off? Why do I always seem to be leaving the pile of washing til it gets huge and I have a mountain of laundry when I had so many opportunities to fold the smaller piles of clothes when they were first dried? Why do I put off small jobs that need doing til they get worse and I have no choice but to tackle the job that has now tripled in size. Why do I stay up late when I know I will regret it the next morning? Or eat a second serving of dinner AND dessert even though I hate feeling sick?
Why do I make decisions that I know will make things more difficult for myself?
I know I am not alone in this, I'm pretty sure it's a comman trait many of us share as human beings. We make choices, even small trivial choices, that will have a bad outcome even though we know better.
I don't think it's necessarily a matter of not learning a lesson, because I completely understand that if you don't like the result, you need to change something, and more often than not I know EXACTLY what needs to be changed.
As a student, I consistantly procrastinated beginning assignments til the night before they were due. I was told regularly that one day it will backfire on me and I will learn my lesson. Well, one day it did backfire on me. I had problems with my computer and on the morning of the due date, I woke to find my assignment was gone! I had to try and remember the whole assignment and replicate it as best I could and had a horrific dash to uni drop it in.
Come the next assignment, did I ensure it was completed with plenty of time to spare? NOPE! I was up all the night before trying to start and finish it all in a few hours.
So why do we do it to ourselves? It's not knowledge or logic we are lacking. It is more a case of placing what we want now as a higher priority. A few minutes extra sleep is ranked higher in importance than being on time in that moment.
When you make a bad decision even though you know the outcome will be undesirable, it's not knowledge that is lacking. It's wisdom.