I constantly tortured my little brother when we were growing up. We were both hard-headed. Since I was 10 years older, I would try to force him to do what I wanted him to do.
Luckily I’ve learned since then!
At the time, even as a little kid, I remember him saying something profound to me one time that has stuck with me since, “I don’t want to do what I don’t want to do!“
Now keep in mind this is coming from someone who, just a few months later, spit out of a window of a fast-moving car whilst facing forward. But still.
We don’t want to do what we don’t want to do.
Because we do want to do what we want to do.
If something makes you feel good, you can (within reasonable limits) keep doing it.
- It doesn’t need to be logical.
- It doesn’t need to have a specific outcome by a specific date.
- And you don’t need anyone else’s approval to do it either. Unless it’s with someone else, of course.
- What you want to do one day may be different on another day and that’s OK
If you’re constantly on the go, you have to pay attention to when your inner voice tells you it’s time to slow down.
It goes the other way too: if you’re in a phase where you’re slothing around, maybe watching too much TV, you need to listen to when that inner voice says, “Get off your butt. Let’s go do something.”
By following what feels good, you have a perfect map to lead you to a life well-lived.
I’m talking about what really feels good. Not just what you have fond memories of, or what your friends are doing, or what you think is pleasurable based on lies you’ve been told by advertising executives.
Do you want to eat junk food? You think pleasure resides in that Micky D’s Big Mac meal or in a super-sized Coca-Cola?
Take your time and taste each bite. There’s a reason why people tend to eat junk food too fast – because it doesn’t taste as good as we think it does. Sugar and rancid vegetable oils numb your taste buds after just a bite or two. This is why people who eat too much junk have a hard time taking bitter herbs or eating more vegetables.
Their taste senses have been dulled.
So after you take a bite of the junk, let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds to really get the full depth of the taste sensation.
Now try the same thing with an orange slice, or a raspberry. Which is better? Which has more flavor?
Even better, how do you feel after?
Guilty? Still hungry (Junk doesn’t satisfy your body’s needs for nutrition, so you keep eating.)? Bloated? Anxious? Tired?
Or do you feel like you’re taking good care of your body?
Healthy habits are only long-lasting if you want to do it. And you’ll only want to do what you want to do.