“Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling which is not.” – William James
Exercising, waking up early, hard work, substance abuse, playing video games, rock climbing…etc.
We weren’t born immediately desiring to do these things. So, what happened? Did we just wake up one day…BAM!… I want to be an alcoholic. When talking to a close family member about the subject he put it like this, “habits are desires cultivated by choices.” After a few minutes of pondering this miniature word puzzle it clicked.
Do people crave cigarettes before they ever smoke one? No. They may have wanted to smoke due to some type of outside pressure, but they did not begin craving cigarettes until they started smoking. This is a phenomenon that occurs after multiple conscious choices have been made.
We develop our feelings towards activities with action. If you sleep in everyday until noon for a couple of months, the first couple of times waking up at 5am will not be pleasant. Similarly, if we are used to waking up at 5am then it would feel weird attempting to sleep in until noon. (If we could at all).
Don’t feed into the lie that you should just do or not do what you ‘feel.’ It’s bogus. Take charge, tell yourself what you are going to do and do it. Wield your choices and actions in such a way, that they will command your feelings to fall in line!