As human beings, we are wired to move towards pleasure and away from pain (though I guess it gets a little more complicated when you’re into S&M).  In essence this is a pretty decent survival strategy.  A lot of painful things can get you killed.  Like great white sharks, psychopaths with chain saws.  Or spray painting your face to disguise yourself before committing a robbery.

But at times when you’re not surrounded by sharks and psychopaths (or your own stupidity), this strategy can also lead to less desirable consequences. In western society, pleasure is literally always just a few bucks (or a mouse click and some tissues) away.

On one hand, this is great. Pleasure generally tends to be pretty pleasurable, so why wouldn’t you go for it?

On the other hand, most things that bring you instant gratification (sugar, porn, buying useless shit that you don’t need) are not very good for you in the long run.  In fact, more often than not, these things make your life less pleasant over the years.  And the feeling ends more quickly, so you’ll need another source of pleasure soon afterwards.

This confuses our pleasure-seeking-pain-avoiding-brains and makes the system a lot less reliable. While I’m the first one to say life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest and conscious indulgence can be great sometimes, it generally pays more to override your first impulses here.

If you want to fill your life with long-term, sustainable joy instead of short spikes of pseudo-enjoyment that create problems over time, you have to interrupt yourself and make a firm decision.

Here’s some examples you might wanna consider:

• Downing a pint of ice cream now?  Or feeling vital, healthy and good about your body in the long run?

• Popping another prescription pill now?  Or getting off that shit and facing yourself to get rid of your issues entirely?

• Not having an uncomfortable conversation now?  Or not losing a friend later?

• Buying another pair of shoes you don’t need right now? Or traveling the world later?

• Spanking it to a video of other people doing what you wish you were doing right now?  Or taking a shower, getting outside and actually meeting some new people of whatever gender(s) you’re into?

• Reading comments from people you don’t know on some news site or Facebook status now? Or subscribing to this blog to read stuff that helps you in the long run? 😉


Receive Pepijn's new articles by email.

While there's enough articles here to fill a couple of books and sell them, keeping them on this site where you can read them all for free would be much more awesome!   And it's amazing people like you who make that possible.  If you feel like these posts have helped improve your life, please consider making a donation.