Am I a Rebel?

I’m reading this self help book my sister recommended titled:

Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

First of all I hate reading self help books, second of all the author of this book is very long winded. I’m like “just get to the point already”.

Some excerpts from the book:

The author states there are 4 types of people and knowing which type of person you are can help you form good habits and cease bad habits. Not everyone forms habits the same way.

She sought answers to questions such as:

  • Why do some people dread and resist habits, while others adopt them eagerly?
  • Why do so many successful dieters regain their lost weight, plus more?

She says just about everyone falls into one of four distinct groups:

  1. Upholders respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations.
  2. Questioners question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified.
  3. Obligers respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations (my friend on the track team).
  4. Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

My sister thinks I may be a Rebel, but I’m not sure. I’m not a rebel with everything, but I think with Diet and Exercise, I may be.  Rebels choose to act from a sense of choice, of freedom. Rebels wake up and think, “What do I want to do today?” They resist control, even self-control, and enjoy flouting rules and expectations.

Rebels work toward their own goals, in their own way, and while they refuse to do what they’re “supposed” to do, they can accomplish their own aims.

But Rebels often frustrate others because they can’t be asked or told to do anything. In fact, asking or telling Rebels to do something often makes them do just the opposite.

Rebels sometimes frustrate even themselves, because they can’t tell themselves what to do.

Rebels resist hierarchies and rules, but surprisingly, some Rebels gravitate to institutions with many rules. As one commenter noted, “Letting others have control can bring freedom as well. You’d probably find more Rebels in the military than you’d suspect.”

No surprise—Rebels resist habits, but they can embrace habit-like behaviors by tying their actions to their choices.

Most people, by a huge margin, are Questioners or Obligers. Very few are Rebels, and, the Upholder category is also tiny.

One is born either to “go with or to go against”. Our Tendencies are hardwired, and while they can be offset to some degree, they can’t be changed.  Yet whatever our Tendency, with greater experience and wisdom, we can learn to counterbalance its negative aspects.

The happiest and most successful people are those who have figured out ways to exploit their Tendency to their benefit and, just as important, found ways to counterbalance its limitations.


Many strategies help us change our habits, and four strategies tower above the others: Monitoring, Foundation, Scheduling, and Accountability.

The Strategy of Scheduling works for most people—but not for Rebels.

The Strategy of Monitoring has an uncanny power. It doesn’t require change, but it often leads to change.

We manage what we monitor. I can attest to this as I MONITOR my calories daily. Keeping close track of our actions means we do better in categories such as eating, drinking, exercising, working, TV and Internet use, spending  and just about anything else.

Self-measurement brings self-awareness, and self awareness strengthens our self-control.

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