In my latest (bestselling) book, Better Than Before, I identify the twenty-one strategies of habit-formation, and one is the Strategy of Loophole-Spotting. I’m doing a video series in which I discuss the ten categories of loopholes. I love studying loopholes because they’re so funny. And ingenious! We’re such great advocates for ourselves — in any situation, we can always think of some loophole to invoke.
What is a “loophole?”
When we try to form and keep habits, we often search for loopholes, for justifications that will excuse us from keeping this particular habit in this particular situation. However, if we catch ourselves in the act of loophole-seeking, we can perhaps reject them.
The final loophole: The one-coin loophole. This is a very dangerous loophole, because it always applies, and it’s always true! Beware!
I haven’t worked on that project for such a long time, there’s no point in working on it this morning.
One beer won’t make a difference.
What difference does it make if I spend this afternoon at the library or at a video arcade?
Why work on my report today, when the deadline is so far away?
Why should I bother to wear my bike helmet today?
If you want to know why it’s called the “one-coin loophole,” I explain in the video. Here’s the book I mention: a footnote in Erasmus’s Praise of Folly.
Do you find yourself invoking this all-too-applicable loophole? In what context?
It’s dangerous because it’s true.