Temptation comes from your mind, and so do the choices you make. Good or bad. Anytime you give in to temptation, your mind controls you, instead of it being the other way around. Because our minds are always present with us, temptations are always present.
Are smart decisions easy to make? No, they require courage. We make wrong decisions because it’s often a more accessible way out than fighting our minds to do what’s best for us.
Follow these steps to avoid temptation, make smarter decisions, and be courageous:
1. Remove the temptation. Avoiding temptation is far easier than resisting it. Here’s what that means. If you have ice cream in your fridge and you get tempted to eat ice cream, you will have a hard time resisting that temptation.
If your fridge is filled with vegetables and healthy snacks and you get tempted to eat ice cream, go to the grocery store to get it. You may find it easier not to go. Temptation avoided wins over temptation resisted.
2. Try to get through those first few battles. The first time you avoid temptation is challenging. By the 50th time, it will be so much easier than you wouldn’t even realize what you’d done. Learning and experience make for better decision-making.
3. Know your triggers. Keep finding resources and learning how to identify your triggers. Keeping a journal can help you with this. Knowledge informs decision-making better than anything else.
If you identify that being alone in your room puts you in a state of mind where you’re more likely to succumb to triggers and decide you’ll regret it, be around people as much as possible. Knowledge helps you avoid making poor decisions.
4. Be aware of your biases. Strip away the excuses and justifications. Think - “Am I making the right decision or the easier decision whenever you have to do something?” Most people are naturally tempted to follow the path of least resistance.
Often bad decisions result from not thinking clearly. Spend more time thinking about the decision. Avoid deciding and then searching for justifications to defend it.
5. Remind yourself of the long-term goal and why it’s worth it. Staying focused on your goal is vital. Always weigh your decisions against each other. You could ask, “Should I eat that cheeseburger and feel terrible for the rest of the day, or should I eat fruit and feel better about myself?”
“Should I sleep in and be late for work, or should I get up now and arrive early to have a better day?" Keeping your goal in mind will help you make the wiser choice.
6. Remove yourself from the situation. There are very few decisions in life that need to be decided at the moment. Almost everything else can wait for a while. Temptation is always in a hurry. It wants that gratification as soon as possible.
Delaying your decision may cause the pressure to make an unwise decision fizzle out. It also helps when you remember that the moment of pleasure is never worth the guilt that follows.
7. Follow through. It is where courage comes in. Take the step and commit. Once you start, it’s easier to continue. Building courage is like building muscle. You start with small decisions and get better at making them.
It is possible that you will have a better life. You may even plan exactly how to get it. But without courage, you can never follow through on getting it.
Life is about learning, so no one gets it right every time. We succumb to temptation. Sometimes we decide based on our information, which may not be enough.
No one is fearless. You show courage by continuing to try despite your fear and the pressure of temptation.
Making a courageous decision isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. You can develop moral fortitude. The key to doing this is self-discipline, which you can find if you continue to work hard.
Reward yourself when you make a smart decision and continue to train your mind. The stronger your mind gets, the easier your life will be!
To Your Continued Success!
Always Leading Up,
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