Taking the harder path

When given a choice, we tend to choose the fastest and easiest path. It’s not our fault. Our brain is wired this way. It likes speed and efficiency and rewards us with warm fuzzy feeling when we choose the easy path.

What did you have for dinner last night? Was it what you really wanted or did you choose it because it was quick and easy? You probably felt good when you were off the hook from having to cook the more difficult meal. The one that requires more effort, patience, and time. The one that is easier to screw up. You might have even told yourself “I’ll make it tomorrow night instead”. You punt.

Decision making is an art and I’m terrible at it. I’ve always chosen the quick way. The one that offers immediate payback. The first question I always ask myself (consciously or not) is “is it worth the time and effort?”

But here’s the thing, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you by choosing to the hard work of not giving into the lure of the easy path. I know this, intellectually, but in practice it doesn’t *feel good*.

So I have to start taking the harder path. I need to do it in the name of happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom. It won’t always work out. Sometimes I’ll fall flat on my face. But overall, I’ll be better for the effort.

So tomorrow I return to panic exposures. Going to do the hard work of chasing panic. I’m going to challenge my brain when it tells me that quick happiness is within reach. What it won’t tell me however, is that I’ll be worse off for the long term by avoiding the hard work.

The easy path is staying home and doing it tomorrow. But tomorrow never seems to come.

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