Resilience is the Direction. A productive way to grow and become independently happy is learning to escape into the moment, not from the moment.
So many of our diversions, the ones that form habits, are to escape reality.
You don’t like the current situation–the present moment–so you do something to distract yourself from it. While the temporary escape seems more pleasant, the better alternative is to practice presence and live in the moment instead of trying to escape the moment.
Confusing ease and comfort for happiness, we try to avoid difficulty and discomfort. The result is unmet expectations and a lack of resilience.
“Escape into the moment, not from the moment.”
Resilience is the Direction
An excellent way to determine if you’re escaping into or from the moment is whether or not the task requires grit or resilience.
Exercise, nutrition, meditation, and learning require persistence to stick with them and do them consistently.
It takes a little grit to do them consistently, do them when you don’t want to, and find the time when you don’t think you have it. Also, performing those activities when you don’t want to or don’t feel like you have time to do them builds grit.
“Action, when you don’t feel like it or think you have time, builds grit.”
It also builds resilience.
During exercise, you tear down your muscles so that they can regrow. You Create Resistance on Purpose. (Regrowth happens during sleep, by the way.)
Exercise requires some–and builds some–grit and resolve. Consistent exercise makes us stronger and more resilient.
Exercise = Good
If you have a chocolate bar when you think you need one, that doesn’t help you with your resolve, grit, or resilience. On the contrary, giving in only makes it easier to give in again.
Seeking a healthy alternative to the chocolate bar (or cigarette) that you think you need takes some grit and resolve, but it builds resilience.
“Giving in only makes it easier to give in again.”
The Hard Way is the Happy Way to Escape
Some things like laughter and music are easier but beneficial. Usually, though, the hard way is the happy way.
“The harder way is the happier way.”
In addition to the physiological benefits of good sleep, exercise, and nutrition, you also develop the mental benefits of grit and resilience. The progress is compounded physically and mentally.
The pleasurable and diverting ways are tempting because they offer escapes from the uncomfortable current situation. But they often involve doing things that aren’t healthy in the long term. They’re also usually a method of procrastinating, escaping from something you really need to do.
“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.”
Please! Take it!
Here is why meditation is difficult.
It’s not comfortable and blissful for you like it is for Instagram and Pinterest models. Your mind wanders, and you get fidgety. Besides that, you’ve got too much to do! How the heck can you sit for an hour when you’ve got so much to do.
It’s just practice, though. It’s not emptying the mind but practicing awareness of your thoughts. It’s practice being aware of where your thoughts are going and directing your thoughts where you consciously want them to go.
For ten minutes.
Then Have Some Fun Too!
I’m not suggesting that you can never enjoy those diversions.
I love having beers with my friends. My wife bakes some mean cookies and cakes, and oh man, her Saturday morning homemade biscuits are delicious!
And although I’m currently behind on Luke Cage and Iron Fist, I love the Marvel shows on Netflix.
Continue to enjoy those things after you contribute to your Happiness Accounts.
What’s your favorite–or most tempting–diversion?
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