Following the Law of Attraction, we often hear that we should only do the things that are pleasant. I generally agree that we should focus on doing more of the things that bring us joy.
But, not everything that brings more pleasantness into our lives is pleasant while we do it. Or before we start doing it.
What creates more pleasantness in the long run isn’t always pleasant at the moment
Cleaning our apartment isn’t pleasant for me. But I clean and tidy up because it leads to more pleasantness in my life. I enjoy a clean and tidy place. That outweighs the rather short time of feeling unpleasant while cleaning.
Especially when I’ve been slagging with my exercise routine, I often don’t feel like doing a workout or going for a run. While I’m doing the workout or running, I would stop pretty soon, if my decision is based on whether it’s pleasant or not.
(Note: I have to remind myself of those all the time because it’s so easy to follow what’s pleasant in the now.)
Being able to defer gratification as an indicator for creating a successful life
Focusing on what’s pleasant in the moment rather than what creates more pleasantness in our lives in the long run is one of the biggest traps that prevents us from living a happy and healthy life.
Following through with what’s more beneficial for us in the long run rather than focusing on what’s pleasurable in the moment is also referred to as deferred gratification.
Follow your own definition of what it means to be successful
This requires understanding what a successful life means for each of us. Otherwise, it leads us into the productivity trap. Trying to do more all the time. Never doing enough.
Observe how you feel
Why do you feel better when you do something? Because of your authentic self or because someone else tells us that that’s the way to go? Are we following our own definition of what it means to be successful in life? Or what other people or society as a whole tells us that this means you’re being successful.
For example, related to cleaning and tidying up. When I tidy up the place, do I feel better because there’s a societal norm around tidiness? Or because I genuinely feel more serene, calm, and tranquil when the environment that I’m in is serene, calm, and tranquil?
It’s important to listen to what’s true for us. Some people feel best with creative chaos around them. Others feel better in an organized space.
Honor the wisdom of your own body
Another point to consider is that more isn’t always better. For example when it comes to exercise it’s super important to listen to our own body on whether it needs more movement or whether it needs more rest. Feeling into if it’s our monkey mind telling us to stop or whether our body is telling us to stop. If it’s the ladder, we end up hurting ourselves if we continue.
To sum up, focus on what creates more pleasantness in your life in the long run as opposed to pleasure in the moment. Remember to check in with yourself, if that’s what you want for your life and not what others tell us how your life should be like. Lastly, remember to give yourself some grace. We’re here to have a human experience. And that includes all the “imperfections” rather than being perfect.