Monday, June 09, 2008

In cool reflection, it’s easy to underestimate the force of emotions

Damn those inticing chips! We all know the situation – we wanted to eat heathier, but those chips were just too tempting. As we all know, emotions, feelings and desires can sidetrack us from what we really want.

In the cold light of reflection, it’s easy to think that you just need to strengthen your resolve. You make yourself feel more strongly that you want to eat healthier, and on the strength of that feeling, it seems like you just need to maintain that. It ought to just be a matter of doing what you want to do.

But the thing is that imagining the pull of those desires is quite a different thing from actually experiencing them. Experencing those emotions changes you. But they don’t have that effect when you’re just imagining their effect.

It’s easy to overlook this when imagining a situation where we’d be experiencing emotions. This makes it easy to underestimate the force of emotions, and overestimate the ease of just doing what you want.

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