As I was getting milk in the self-checkout lane, I overheard two college-aged girls talking.

“Do you want to watch Good Boys again tonight? It was so good.”

“Yeah, totally.”

I didn’t say anything as I walked out the door. I was about to go home and work for several hours. Granted it was not stress-inducing work, but I wasn’t going home to watch some random movie for entertainment.

I wasn’t always this way. In the past, I needed pleasure. I could only work so many hours before I decided I needed to drink some soda, watch a youtube video on Russian car crashes, or turn on the car radio. These days my pleasures are a 100% fruit popsicle, a song (I rarely listen to music), or chatting with a old friend.

How did I lose my need for mindless pleasure?

I learned to see my ordinary moments as valuable instead of just valuing my stimulated moments. When I stitch a rip in my gym shorts, I’m not super stimulated but I feel fine. When I complete three job applications and start on the fourth, I feel fine.

I’m ok with mundane or tedious work even if I don’t see the fruits of my labor. Whatever I am doing is worth more than watching Good Boys or whatever new movie is out.

“Are some moments and some experiences privileged relative to others? Are they “more real” or “deeper” than other elements of your life, and other experiences you may have? How so, exactly? Every moment is a component of the ensemble of events that you think of as “your” life (though you have never been quite clear in what sense it is “yours” exactly). Do not be swayed by intense pleasure, or heightened sensory stimulus, or novelty. This moment, right now, is neither more nor less a part of your life than is any other that you will ever experience.”

William Ferraiolo, Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure

“Taking a break is the one thing I put off until tomorrow.”

Jocko Willink, Discipline Equals Freedom

[Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay]

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