Here is a little something that I have been recently using to help me make reasonable and conscious decisions. When I am not sure whether to do a particular thing in a situation, I ask myself two questions:
- Do I feel good about this? Is this a good thing? Is it desirable and fulfilling?
- Do I want to do it? Will it bring me somewhere? Is it somehow a part of something that I need? Part of something that is really important to me right now?
I ask the questions only in regard to the current moment. I take effort not to look into the future or past and whether I might want this some other day or might have wanted it in the past.
This helps me greatly in turning away from distractions and focus on what I need to do at the moment.
For example, I might now consider a spiritual journey into the mountains. It would be fulfilling and make me a more loving person and it just generally sounds good. It is definitely not a bad thing. The idea fills itself fills me with love.
But is it what I want right now? No. It may be something I will want in the future or may have wanted in the past, but I do not want it right now.
But it does not have to be love. It can be rage, too. I read some post on the internet that enrages me and feel my duty to protest it. The anger feels good. But do I want to do it? Is it part of something that is my priority and important right now? It may be, sure, but it is not at that moment.
A contrary example: I may feel absolutely horrible about standing up and doing some work. It just sends shivers down my spine.
But do I want to do it? Yes, because that work is part of something that brings me forward.
On another occasion, I may be bored, lying in my bed, wondering what to do. The idea of a visit to another city fills me with joy. But do I want it? Yes, I do.
So I do it, perfect.
Lastly, I may be sitting at my computer, surfing through the internet. I find a post that enrages me, but it is written by some unimportant dork and idiot like myself. I feel it below me to engage in a debate with him. But do I want it? Does it bring me somewhere? No, neither.
So I let it go.
This little self-reflection is a great help for me to separate between that which feels good and that which I really need.
In the end, only that which I really need will satisfy me and not leave me feeling empty. That donut at the baker’s may be really fucking good and made me happy yesterday. But today, I need something else.
Something may even be very similar to what I need, but still not quite the thing.
On the other hand, sometimes doing the dirty work is just what I need to be really satisfied. Hell and if it is my goal to refine my debating skills, I may even engage that unimportant dork on the internet.
Always make it about what you want. Not about what is. By which standard, anyway?
And it that does not help, get one of these.