Life is a continuous stream of choices. Everything that happens to you is a consequence of your own choices. If you choose to never eat sugar again and stick to it, you’ll see your clothes will not fit you anymore in about 6 months. Sure, you might also have to choose to throw in a treadmill and also give up on bread. I know this to be true because I did just that for the past 6 months. And I lost 35 pounds because of this little choice that I made 180 days ago.
As I said, life is all about choices. But people assume life is about choosing between right and wrong. From my experience that is not entirely accurate. The word “wrong” is misused in this equation. There is no wrong choice because, be it in the short or the long-term, your choices can rather be right or easy.
Choosing the easy way
Let’s say you’ve had a fight with your girlfriend or wife. You leave home extremely angry, ready to quit the relationship. That happens when you forget about all the good years that you’ve spent together with her, the lovely moments you two have had together. You cheat on her. With how and how you do it have no importance in the big picture. The act itself is important, why is it that you went for such an act in the first place. Because, in a weird way, it made sense to you.
That, on the short aspect of things, will feel like the right thing to do. But in reality, it’s the easy way towards a fake, short sentiment of happiness or satisfaction. The feeling you did something about it. The problem is, easy happiness is not lasting happiness. It’s like when you’re smoking a cigar. It is an easy way out of a hard day, but if you do that constantly, it leads to cancer and painful death. It’s not productive.
Choosing the right thing to do is the hardest, but it also leads to real, palpable, long-term happiness. The easy way out is easy, as the name states, but that’s about it. It will never lead you to real happiness because real happiness is built in ages upon ages of working with yourself. The real type of happiness is the one you consciously work on every day. This happiness doesn’t come from just lighting up a cigarette or having an affair with someone, just to get some revenge and calm your nerves.
Another term for this used in psychology is delayed gratification. The more you work for something and the more time and effort you put into it, the more lasting the happiness it brings at the end will be. If you score a lottery ticket now, without doing anything but just buying a card, you’ll feel happiness until your money is gone. If you work for that money and earn every single penny you have, you’ll feel that sense of fulfilment and real happiness you’re looking for.