The One-Coin Loophole

Posted by: on March 10, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my commute as a way to pass the time.  It all started when I fell down the rabbit hole known as Serial  (I do think Adnan had something to do with the murder) and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The most recent podcast that has intrigued me is Happier with Gretchen Rubin.  It offers various tips and insight regarding things we can do to make our lives happier/easier/more productive.  One discussion covered loopholes and I instantly thought about how this habit relates to college students.

According to Rubin, understanding loopholes is important “because when we try to form and keep habits, we often search for loopholes”.  The One-Coin Loophole is based in the “argument of the growing heap” from Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus.  The argument is:

“If ten coins are not enough to make a man rich, what if you add one coin? What if you add another? Finally, you will have to say that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him so.”

While at first glimpse, you may wonder what this has to do with being a college student.  But look closer.  How many times have you thought the following:

-What difference will it make if I start my paper now?
-I’m going to skip class today – it’s only one time.
-Why should I do my math homework now, when I have all weekend?
-I can have pizza tonight; I’ve been good all week.
-It’s only one beer. (Author’s note:  You must be 21 to think this.)

The act of working on homework daily or skipping one class may not be a huge deal.  Those are single acts.  But a single act done repeatedly becomes a habit.  The habit of working on homework daily will have a lasting impact on your success as a student.  Skipping a class (or two or five) while also have an impact on your ability to succeed in your class.

What gold coins (acts) are becoming your heaping pile (habits)?


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Posted by: on March 10, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Skills