I wouldn’t admit it – not even to myself, really – but deep down I was glad it started raining. The rain made it easy to justify sitting on the couch and relaxing.
And then I remembered what shirt I was wearing… “Only those who want it get it.” What do I want more? To sit and relax, or to improve myself, become more comfortable with discomfort, and prepare myself for the mountains?
My mind was saying, “take it easy.” My body was craving the ice cream sandwich in the freezer. (Chocolate mint – oh, the bliss!) But my heart was saying something else.
My heart won, and 4 miles later my mind and body finally came to an agreement with it.
Feeling & Choice
This isn’t about chest thumping bravado, or exclaiming, “look how tough I am.” (The answer would be, “not very.”) The purpose of telling this story is because, as I was running through the pouring rain last night, I was reminded of two very important things. Two things that I believe you need to be reminded of…
- Feelings are fickle.
- Choice is power.
The opportunity to follow your feelings is a luxury. What was once a seldom occurrence is now the de facto modus operandi of our modern, convenient lives of endless options. The ability to choose pleasure – that is, to go with our feelings – was once a temporary reprieve from the inescapable demands of life. But now, most of us have the ability to choose what we want, how we want it, and when we expect to have it. (And if it doesn’t happen quick enough, then we throw a fit.)
And in many ways, we’re worse off for it.
Blindly following our feelings will leave us unchallenged and unsatisfied. Our whole being will atrophy.
When presented with an opportunity we need to ask ourselves a bigger question than, “What do I feel like?” We should ask ourselves much more.
“What is right?”
“What is best for me?”
“What is best for those around me?”
“What will enable me to achieve the greater desires that I have?”
These questions, and many others, are more important than subconsciously caving to our fickle feelings.
And – (and this is a BIG, “and”!) – you have the power to choose something other than what you feel like doing.
Choose to face Something Awful. Choose to do the right thing, even when it isn’t easy. Choose to make yourself better, instead of just more comfortable. Choose to have the hard conversation that, though difficult, will make your relationship better in the long run. Choose to confront that thing you fear. Choose to pursue your weakness instead of pretending its not there.
Choice is powerful.
After running in the rain I felt better. I felt more alive. I even felt more relaxed.
What I initially wanted isn’t what I needed. But by pursuing what I needed, I gained what I wanted. Life is funny like that. And that’s why these things are worth thinking about.