In 1951 there was a study at Swarthmore College conducted by Dr. Solomon Asch. The experiment was designed to evaluate a person’s likelihood to conform to a standard when there is pressure to do so.
A group of participants were shown pictures with lines of various lengths and were then asked a simple question: Which line is the longest? The tricky part of the study was that only one person (of the group of 5) was a true participant, the rest were actors with a script and the actors were instructed to give the wrong answer.
Asch found that subjects went along with the group (conformed) on 37% of the clinical trials even though they knew they were giving the wrong answer.
In a different variation of the experiment, Asch gave the naïve subject a partner, who gave the correct response. With a partner, they found conformity dropped from 37% to 5%. Yes, a positive change by 32%. Wow!
In your world, you generally know what you need to do. You know your life is better when you prioritize your spiritual life. You know your life is better when you consistently eat nutritious food. You know you feel better when you workout regularly. You know your life is better when you get enough sleep. You know you feel more productive when you don’t watch television.
So why don’t we do these things? Why do we conform to the world? Why do we let other people with other priorities tell us what is best?
It usually sounds something like this:
- You’re not really going get rid of cable TV are you?
- You’re not really going to get rid of social media are you?
- You’re not really going to fall asleep at 10PM and wake up at 5AM every day are you?
- You’re not really going to read a book per week are you?
- You’re not really going to workout every day are you?
- You’re not really going to pass on this delicious queso burrito from Qdoba are you?
Those are the words from people who have given up on their goals already. Those are the people that dropped their gym membership in February this year. Those are the people that will make themselves feel better about quitting if they can simply convince you do to the same.
So get a positivity partner already. Somebody that won’t allow you to conform. Somebody that will push you and encourage you and do it with you.
Don’t be the type of person that gives up what you want most for what you want now.