We like to say we struggle with things.
We all do it.
We struggle with exercising every day.
We struggle with eating right.
We struggle with going to bed on time.
In these cases, “struggle” is a code word to let ourselves off the hook for bad choices.
We’ve talked before about how struggle is chosen by refusing to accept what’s right in front of us. We also call it up when we want to do something we know we shouldn’t do, but don’t want to straight-up admit we are doing something we know we shouldn’t do.
We all know we should eat healthy, exercise, get good sleep, not cheat on the people we are in monogamous relationships with. We know we shouldn’t drink to excess, use harmful drugs, let our house be filthy or spend 9 hours a day watching television or screwing around online.
These are not actual debates; we introduce debate as a way of letting ourselves make what we know is a poor choice.
I need to choose between a healthy meal and fast food.
No debate here, we all know fast food is addictive garbage.
But, then the voice in my head kicks in.
Just consider this…
You’ve been at work all day, you’re tired, just swing through the drive-through.
There shouldn’t be a debate here, I know the right thing to do.
But, for some reason, it’s there.
A lot of this applies to addictive behaviors as well, the fake debates are just a little more manipulative and aided by stronger neurochemical desires. We still introduce debate and act like it’s legitimate.
Choice Matters. Anyone who tries to take this from you is taking the one power you really do have.
We add fake complications to give us a way to explain our poor choices.
One of the best things we can do is not pretend there is a debate when there is not. Sometimes it is as simple as just doing what we know we should do, when we should do it.
Much of the “struggle” we find ourselves engaged in is chosen so that we can tell ourselves we tried to do the right thing.
There is no “try” on some things. Some things you just do.
There are all sorts of things you can legitimately try and fail at. You can try to bench your bodyweight and still fail. You can work really hard for an A in a tough class and still wind up with a C. You can be a safe driver and still get in a wreck that is your fault. There is nothing wrong with failing, it’s good for us and makes us more resilient if we let it.
But, a lot of the time, our failure lies in the choice we make, not in external circumstances.
Some things are simple choices.
Don’t make them more complicated than they need to be.
No debate required.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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