Default State Growth

There is a fine margin between growth and stagnation. To grow, you need to make growth your default state – or you will always be falling behind.

What Is Your Default?

Your default state is: how you are and what you’re doing when nothing else is happening. What do you start doing when you wake up? If you’ve got no obligations and hours of free time ahead, how will you spend it?

The default is your “natural state”; what your disposition is given no outside influence. There are three options:

  • Progression: growth, development, learning, improvement – the advancement of your interests
  • Stagnation: laziness, doing nothing at all – wasting time
  • Regression: intoxication, gluttony, indulgence – self-harm

Time And Your Account

Think of your life as an account. You can make investments in yourself, keep steady, or take withdrawals. Most people are in debt – literally and metaphorically. Positive action invests in the account, making deposits for future welfare. Negative action withdraws from your account and puts you further in debt. These are “good habits” and “bad habits”, respectively.

Your default is what’s happening to your account on average. Is your account growing or shrinking? Is it staying the same?

Against Leisure

Most people’s accounts are stagnant or shrinking. Leisure is the default state for most. Remember that the default is what you’re doing when there are no other influences. So if you’re at work, or school, these are things you have to do – they’re not your default. But when you get home, or have a free weekend ahead – that’s the default.

When leisure is your default state, you do what you need to do to survive, but no more. The rest of your time is spent lazing around – browsing bullshit websites, indulging yourself, consuming instead of producing.

How can you be productive if you don’t spend your time producing?

At best, being default state leisure leads to stagnation. Watching TV, eating processed meals, entertaining yourself – these won’t grow you as a person. At worst, it is harmful. How many young people waste their weekends getting blackout drunk? Any time spent not drinking is spent nursing a hangover. And when Monday rolls around, their account is further in debt. An emptier wallet, a slower mind, and a heavier body.

Eliminate leisure as your default state.

Default State Growth

When your default state is growth, you’re continuously making deposits in your account. When you’ve got free time, you’re productive – doing something to better yourself, or your life.

This is the key to long-term success. You can’t rest on your laurels until you actually have some laurels. And when you get there, you might find that you’re so used to growth as a default that you don’t want to rest.


I’m always searching for new ways to keep growing. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, come join me on Twitter.

One comment Add yours
  1. Actually the original meaning of the word leisure is ‘time for education or school’ i.e. time you can use learning and philosophising about the world rather than struggling to survive.

    The fact that the meaning has changed reveals certain things about our culture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.