rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic
(idiomatic) To do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem.
There is a concept of, “not majoring in minors”. In other words, spend the greatest units of effort and time on the things that will have the most significant effect on your outcome. This is the basis of simplicity or minimalism.
By limiting variables, its more conceivable that finding out what is most effective will be apparent. Unfortunately this is not the case for many. There seems to be a fear of the obvious or a blindness towards the fundamental. It’s too boring, too hard or unexciting. In the movies, things happen quickly and almost magically. We start to, in fact, have magical thinking.
This distraction often moves us to, “rearranging the deck furniture” in terms of life, health and longevity. We ignore the important stuff and fiddle with the voodoo. Examples? Sure.
– Ride a motorcycle as a form of pastime and stress relief but don’t wear a helmet.
– Don’t wear seatbelts.
– Don’t use dental floss. [look at people’s teeth. You will be shocked]
– Text and drive.
– Drink and drive.
– Boating and drinking.
– Unprotected sex with strangers.
– Excessive drinking.
– Maintaining obesity.
– Not washing your hands.
– Avoiding known crime areas or venues.
These are just a few and I’m sure you can come up with many more. Now proceeding any of these, you could insert a “rearrange deck furniture” behavior.
Somehow who uses constant hand sanitizer, but practices unprotected sex.
Someone who is consistent with their health, but doesn’t use seatbelts.
A person who is opposed to non organic foods, yet is morbidly obese.
An individual with an alarm system on their house, but massive gum infections from not flossing their teeth.
Smokers who take vitamins.
You get the picture. By avoiding the real problem, you can pretend to be courageous. You perhaps act as if you are uninformed, but you are mimicking a child who closes his eyes and believes he is invisible. You really aren’t fooling anyone. Not even yourself.