As part of my long journey to independence, I have become aware of a parenting technique I use on myself: the reward system. Often parents reward the good behavior of their children. Though my siblings will say I was spoiled as a child, I don’t recall specific rewards for good behavior as it was generally expected and viewed as normal. Why reward somebody for exuding acceptable and civilized comportment? In my family, we didn’t reward the ordinary but recognized the extraordinary. If I had become addicted to pot brownies as a toddler (which I most likely would have, given the opportunity) I am sure I would have been rewarded somehow for showing signs of rehabilitation.
Occasionally in my adult life, I find myself somewhat… unmotivated. Subconsciously, I have taken to rewarding myself for my efforts:
Monday, I began training for the Wasatch Back relay by running and modifying my horrendous diet. Tuesday, I ate so well that I had to reward myself with a Philly Steak sandwich.
A few weeks ago, I stayed awake during Chemistry so I rewarded myself with a brownie hot fudge sundae.
At Costco, I stuck to my list and had only healthy things in my cart. I rewarded myself with a tray of Chicken Alfredo.
As a reward for attending church, I usually purchase a Choco Taco from the vending machine.
If I go to Guitar on Tuesday, I reward myself by skipping it Thursday.
I didn’t purchase the electronics I had been wanting, so I bought myself a coat.
I sat through an entire shift at work with a particularly gassy employee: chocolate milk.
I have been emanating productivity since I recognized my system of rewards. If I work hard for more than 30 seconds, I deserve to be rewarded for it. Anybody want milkshakes?