Small acts of defiance, like the murder of a watch, build an oasis of control.
My smart watch died a quiet death on the table by my bed. It hasn’t buzzed or beeped in weeks. I didn’t shed a tear because I killed it. It’s not broken. If I charged it, it would revive. I leave its lifeless form in plain view because its death comforts me.
I admire the carcass every morning. Before bed I place the mechanical watch that replaced it on the same nightstand to affirm its death. My current watch leaves me alone because it has a low IQ.
Defiance assert your control when you feel pushed around.
Self-defeating acts of defiance:
- Foot-dragging when the boss is pushy.
- Calling in sick to help them appreciate you.
- Gossiping when someone outshines you.
- Stealing office supplies after a disappointing performance review.
- Assigning lousy work to an employee you don’t like.
Powerful people don’t need small acts of defiance.
My small acts of defiance go beyond killing watches. I haven’t trimmed my beard since last October. I tend the fire because I refuse to buy heating oil that costs more than the engagement ring I gave my wife. I’m fighting for control because I feel pushed around.
You need not-doing in their life, especially when you feel pressure to conform.
7 small acts of defiance:
- Not booking meetings back-to-back.
- Eating dinner with your family when you could be working.
- Scheduling email time, instead of responding immediately.
- Eating lunch.
- Walking for 10 minutes in the afternoon.
- Scheduling focus time and closing your office door.
- Changing 60-minute meetings to 50 minutes.
I wouldn’t need defiance if I felt powerful, but until I do, I’m leaving my dead watch in plain view.
What small acts of defiance do you use?