[the following is guestpost by kdeep, you can find his TW handle here: @thekdeep]
Pleasure for me was always a distraction. A source of regret. A sign of my weakness.
Every time I gave in to my urge and desire for pleasure, my productivity and self-trust went down the drain. It was as if someone had sucked my energy.
Ever since my self-development journey started, I did my best to force myself away from pleasure – after all, I wanted to be a strong man.
But the “force” itself became a distraction – a pain in the ass.
I always believed that avoiding pleasure would be much easier in the long run than enjoying it in moderation. While my life swung along the extremes.
Until I realized, it’s not the pleasure that destroys us. It’s the urge – our desire.
Pleasure makes us feel good. Of course, it can’t replace the fulfillment that achievements provide. But it feels good – especially when you don’t desire to be a monk.
But when you desire pleasure, you consume it beyond enjoyment. You consume it to the point of regret.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
“Is it possible to consume pleasure for enjoyment without getting sucked in?”
I always thought it was impossible. I didn’t believe anyone who said otherwise. For me, they were hiding their uncontrollable desire for pleasure.
Things changed when I first experienced pleasure solely for enjoyment. I did it at the moment when I didn’t crave it. This brings us to the most important point:
Before you can enjoy pleasure, you have to reduce your urges, and if you can – kill them. How? There are many methods. You can alter your environment, create a strong purpose, recite affirmations, etc etc.
Each of those solutions targets a subset of your problems associated with urges. None of them alone can solve your problem. But there are 2 major methods that I find useful:
1) Fixing the process at points of failure. Follow whatever method you know to quit your bad habit. As soon as you fail, think. Identify why you failed. Look for a solution. Implement it. Repeat until you create a process so smooth that requires almost no willpower. Stop blindly using tools and techniques.
2) Outsmart your triggers. I’ll explain this with an example. I have always been addicted to junk food. So I found out the usual time at which I crave it – 6 p.m. I made it a rule to eat something healthy at around 5 p.m. Problem solved. I almost never have the urge to eat junk food anymore. Of course, I could just eat healthy food when I crave junk food. But the craving takes control of our rational mind. So, I never let the craving be born. You can do the same for almost any urge or desire. Outsmart your trigger.
Once your desire is relatively low, you can enjoy pleasure.
You just have to follow 1 rule:
Stay away when you have the desire for it.
To make sure you aren’t fooling yourself, ask a simple question:
“Can I avoid it this time and move on to some other activity without feeling the internal pain and friction?”
If the answer is yes, go for it. Relish every moment. Instead of focusing on more pleasure, focus on your present experience -savor it. And as soon as you have enjoyed it, get away. Don’t let yourself get sucked in.
Ever since I started doing this, my productivity and overall well-being have gone up. I am in better overall shape than I was when I tried to force away pleasure. My income has gone up. It feels so counterintuitive but works well.
Of course, it’s not a necessity. You can go complete monk mode. But I can’t show you the way when I am not on it. I like to achieve my goals with enjoyment – and I have found a way to do it. Now you have it too.
Have A Based Day | HOOA
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