Do you need an alarm clock?

An alarm clock enforces a somewhat unnatural behavior. It's an instrument of management and improvement, not authenticity and enjoyment.

Rephrasing Joe Hudson, you need to manage someone only if they won't do the desired action by themselves without your intervention. That begs the question: do you want to rely on people who need to be forced?

We use alarm clocks to manage ourselves. We force a predefined flow of events instead of letting the situation emerge. As a result, we create a little prison of rules and obligations where there's no place for authentic feelings.

However, how do you balance authenticity with external obligations? You have to collaborate and coordinate with people to achieve ambitious goals. For example, you can't build a company or even a building only by yourself.

So, how can you combine authenticity with coordination?

You can do it by reframing oppressive external obligations to a set of opportunity waypoints you can pursue to achieve desired outcomes.

When your alarm rings, it reminds you that there's a possibility to show up at a meeting, drive kids to school, or go for a morning run. You can take the opportunity, or you can leave it. It's up to you.

Authenticity doesn't die with rules and alarm clocks. It dies when you replace your heart with a set of stagnant regulations.