You never do something you don't want to do. I mean, sure, I can say I want to not eat an extra piece...

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You never do something you don't want to do.

I mean, sure, I can say I want to not eat an extra piece of cake.  But at the moment I am eating it, I want to eat it.  Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.

And I can say I don't want to write that report for work, but I want the alternatives even less: missing out on a promotion, losing my job, losing the respect of others.

The Apostle Paul said, "... I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. ... I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." (Romans 7)

But at the time he does the thing he hates, he wants to do them.  Otherwise he wouldn't do them.  He wants his future self to not do them, and he wants his past self to not have done them ... but his present self wanted to do it.

Literally everything we do, it's because we want to do it.  So many people try to force themselves to do what they don't want to do, whether it's exercise or dieting or charity or whatever.  The trick is not to force yourself to do it, it's to want to do it.

There's various ways to do this, to "rewire" yourself to want the short-term action because of the long-term gain it provides.

One way is rewarding yourself (you're only allowed to watch TV if it is while you are exercising).  Another way is to simply focus on the long-term gains, or losses, of certain behaviors.

But stop trying to force yourself, by brute force, to do something you don't want to do.  It's literally impossible.  The only reason you went to the gym that one time is because you wanted to.  It will be no different in the future: if you don't want to, you won't go.

The energy you spend trying to do and not do things is wasted.  Spend your energy, instead, on adjusting your motivations. G+

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on October 23, 2015 5:16 PM.

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