Whenever you make the right decision, you are more likely to make another right decision immediately after making this decision. All the future, similar choices will be easier to make. This creates a virtuous cycle of decision making, which positively affects our levels of happiness. Oppositely, every adverse decision negatively affects this spiral of decision making, decreasing our sense of happiness. This brings us to an easy yet not so simple rule of decision making: Always do the right thing, whatever it is. “But what is the <<right thing>>?” you might ask? This is rather a subjective answer, but you will know the answer if you are honest with yourself.
Thus, if you are ever able to catch yourself doing something negative, stop. Try to break this negative cycle of decision making by doing something correctly instead. It might be difficult, especially if you were doing the wrong thing for a long while, but it will be worth it.
Also, every positive and negative decision contributes to emotional muscle memory. In contrast, the next time we are faced with a similar situation, we are compelled to act similarly. Thus, it helps to brainwash ourselves with positivity, especially when we can identify something that we are not doing ideally. After identifying such a situation, we need to ask ourselves why we are doing the negative thing. The next step is to create a positive reaction to replace the negative one and do that next time a similar situation presents itself.
Of course, there are situations where it will be tough to do the right thing because our harmful habit is so deeply integrated into our psyche. These situations I call “addictions”. Personally, currently, I know myself to be addicted to sugar and TV-series. I take an excessive amount of sugar, which is terrible for my health and watch too many TV-series, which distracts me from my bigger life goals. I know that I should not do these things, but I am emotionally compelled to do this anyway. This creates a lot of frustration, and it affects my self-esteem because it messes with my self-image of a strong and independent person who is in control of his actions. Still, I know myself to be addicted to these two things, so I am not hard on myself whenever I do these undesired actions. These addictions are not as destructive as drugs, alcoholism, or anything else of a similar level. Still, I am continuously trying to bring down my desire to do these things to a manageable level, as in Alcoholics Anonymous would say “it’s a lifelong struggle to conquer and stay away from your deepest addictions.” Still, by doing everything else right, we can give ourselves leverage to conquer these more difficult situations whenever they will present themselves.
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