How to overcome temptation (and emerge victorious from it)
A bottle of that astronomically expensive wine, that brownie you see in the window every morning, the guy in the front office in his sexy little glasses. People are continually faced with temptations that make us doubt of whether to do certain things or not to do them, but what is temptation? Where does it come from? And most importantly, how to overcome it?
What is temptation?
Temptation is the incitement, provocation or stimulus that induces the desire for something or someone. What differentiates it from other kinds of desires is that temptation is the thought of something that you want but don't have. The desire for something that may even be counterproductive for us, but that, nevertheless, you cannot deny. It calls and attracts you.
Where does temptation come from?
Desire turns into temptation when we resist what is desired. The human being is by nature seeker of pleasure, and their behaviors and thoughts are not born with another objective than to seek pleasure, to seek to feel good. But, What makes an object, person or circumstance awaken temptation in us?
What makes us awaken the temptation is the struggle of the conscious (rationality, the elaboration of logical thought) with that of the subconscious (the search for pleasure and desire, primary, visceral desires). And it is when we find ourselves in a situation where we must decide what to do.
"I cross every morning in front of a bakery where they make delicious cakes, but my sugar is very high and it would not be recommended or beneficial for my health to eat them ... but they are so good! The explosion of flavors in my mouth is indescribable but I know that if I do it later I will have to have a hard time because they do not feel good to my health. I have thought better of it and I am going to overcome the temptation to eat it, since it does not benefit me at all and it is not worth playing with my health for a little moment of pleasure in my mouth. "
“I think my office secretary is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, she has a great body and scandalously long legs. He has made it clear to me on several occasions that he wants an adventure with me; however, I am a married man. It is true that it is impossible for me not to notice her, that beauty that hypnotizes and I also know that she is willing to have something with me ... After two days of thinking I have decided that no, that it is not worth shaking a relationship in the how much love and effort I have contributed, in which I have the woman with whom I am completely in love and I have realized that I do not need anything else. Yes, it is true, I would have obtained pleasure from that beautiful woman, but to what extent would feeling that pleasure during that moment have been worth it? "
Here are two examples of situations in which people are tempted by something or someone. They are a clear example of the struggle between our most sedentary and visceral thoughts against our most rational, more elaborate and thoughtful thoughts.
As you can see, it is a struggle between immediate pleasure and awareness. It is natural that both want to satisfy their pleasure, but After having thought about it and elaborated in their minds a balance with costs and benefits of what it would mean to do them or not to do them, they make the decision in a more rational and elaborate way.
But pay attention!
This does not mean that the pursuit of the most primal pleasure is bad. What's more, as stated above, people are set up for the pursuit of pleasure, but it is also true that they are set up for more than just settling for it. Ultimately, you are the one who has the last word and the one who decides what to do and why to do it.
How to overcome temptation?
"The only way to overcome temptation is to fall into it", Oscar Wilde
Wilde is right, but his words are not entirely correct. It is true that if one falls into temptation, it disappears because the engine of temptation is the improper, what is desired but still does not have. By possessing it, that desire that tempts us disappears.
However, if we fall into the dynamic of satiating every temptation that comes our way, we will find ourselves in a labyrinth in which our behaviors and thoughts only know the most primary and visceral pleasure. We will end up being slaves of our own pleasure, leaving conscience and rationality parked. Leaving aside what precisely makes us human beings: the use of reason.
- Know yourself. It is essential to know your temptations so that you can later master them.
- Don't run away from your temptations. To reject your temptations is to reject something about yourself, and that is not beneficial to feeling good.
- Do not deny your temptations. Running away from them will only cause you to get even closer.
- Let them in, feel what they provoke and act according to your criteria.
- Become the owner of them and that they are not the ones who take over you. To do this, get to know them and with this you can manage them as you please.
- Reward yourself whenever you've overcome a temptation.
- Be aware that the temptations do not disappear, but they are silenced, do it!
And, above all, remember: there is no force more powerful than the power of the mind, use it to make yourself feel good and fight against what does not allow it.
I, as always, wait for you in the next one. A big greeting and a hug, Andrea.
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