Every day I come in contact with people who are looking for success in some part of their lives. It may be in business, career, health, or in personal relationships. All of them are seeking help because, for whatever reason, the life they know they should have isn't the life they're living. They know there is a better, happier, and more fulfilling life to be had if they can just find a way to reach it.
What is shocking to most, is that a great number of these people are letting, what they believe to be, their pleasure stand in the way of true happiness.
Here is just one not so extreme example:
A person comes home from work. They have had a hard day so they pour themselves a drink, sit down to watch a movie, sporting event, or TV show--take your pick. They just want to relax for a little while before tackling the monthly bills they know are waiting.
Meanwhile, their spouse who has had an equally hard day is trying to get dinner ready, make their son do his homework, and let off steam by comparing gripes on the phone with their best friend.
The couple has dinner in stressed silence, their son is put to bed and they sit down to work on the bills. As usual, the money is tight and leads to a hard night of why did you buy? why did you spend? and why don't you make more?
The next day at work both partners are stressed over the fight the night before. Their bosses get on their backs because their performance is down and they forgot to finish key assignments.
Not a pleasant way to spend a day. So, at home that night, the cycle repeats itself.
Do you think either half of this couple is going to reach their dreams?
Try a different scenario:
Both partners come in from work after having had rough days. They get in the kitchen together and work on dinner and their son's homework. They decompress by venting to each other and discuss how to cut the family bills.
After dinner, the son is put to bed. They have a drink, watch TV and then go to bed together.
How do you think they will perform at work the next day? Do you think they have a better chance of earning a raise or promotion?
In these examples, one person's pleasure is an after work drink and vegging out in front of the tube and the other's is venting to a friend. Do you really believe that either one is enjoying themselves, knowing what will come later, or are they just practicing escapism and hiding from their lives?
There is nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite pleasure, no matter what it might be. But, often we use stress as an excuse (lie disguised as a reason) for indulging our wants before our needs. This only leads to more stress and more pain. Enjoy your life but be honest, look and see if your pleasure might be the cause of some of your pain.
My challenge for this week:
Review how you manage your time with those things that bring you pleasure by asking the following three questions.
What are the things you frequently indulge in that are pleasurable?
How much time, per week, do you spend engaged in these pleasures?
Does your engagement in these pleasures distract you from doing things that will advance your goals?
Once you have done this, try changing your use of these "pleasure items" by making them rewards for performing tasks that need to be completed. Then you will be able to truly enjoy these as rewards for your success!