One of the things I love about the recovery community is its use of slogans. These slogans have worked their way into mainstream culture, and I think this is a good thing. One of these slogans I have enjoyed and passed on to many of my clients is "one day at a time."
Think about every day as a day for pleasure. Pleasure surrounds us like the air we breathe, the colors we see, the sounds we hear and yes, in the people we meet. Pleasure is everywhere all the time, so why not today?
We all get the same 24 hours a day; we all get the same 1,440 minutes a day. For some of us, eight hours of our day goes to where we work. Then there is at least 1 1/2 hours toward eating in a day plus the commute to and from work. If you are a student, there are also classes, part-time jobs and friends.
Here are a few basic principles so you can have pleasure every day.
Principle 1: Pay Yourself First
Many of us as we start growing financially start to read motivational, self-help and management books. I am one of those people who get pleasure from learning; so of course, I like to read them.
In my reading, along the way in some of these financial books is a principle or slogan that is repeated again and again. That principle was to pay you first. The basic idea was before you paid your bills or other financial obligations you would set a portion of money aside.
Those who taught this principle for savings had a unique perspective. The perspective was you pay yourself 5-15 percent of your income. As you put this away regularly, you will have capital to invest.
Here's the point to this principle, a little over time adds up to a lot if you are consistent. The same is true of having a pleasure lifestyle. If you enjoy life a little every day, then you will have a huge joy over the decades that you get to live on this beautiful planet.
This doesn't mean you take hours a day to travel, work out or meet new people. This daily pleasure is rather usually minutes a day. Many smaller pleasures can be under five minutes and definitely under 30 minutes a day.
"Do you mean that the first thing I do is a pleasure?" That's not my point exactly, although I do know of many walkers, bikers, treadmill people and coffee drinkers who take paying yourself first literally.
For some, that ritual of the pleasure of the aroma, warmth, and let's not forget the caffeine in coffee is one of the major reasons they get out of bed in the morning. I also know the 5:00 a.m. ritual for runners, walkers and bikers in my neighborhood. Regardless of how you wake up, taking the one-day at a time principle means you will dedicate some minutes to something enjoyable. It doesn't take much time, but it does take a daily perspective of pleasure and feeling how the power of pleasure can greatly affect your daily life.
Principle 2: Principle, Not Emotion
Pleasure is many things; pleasure is a principle similar to the principle of sowing and reaping, saving and having or gratuity. This very active power of pleasure is a principle, and if you apply the principle, you get results. If you avoid the principle, you get consequences.
There are many principles in life like eating right, exercising, saving and being kind toward others that we all know exist. Some of us are more principled and adopt a principle regardless of how we feel about it.
The knowledge of principles is not enough to benefit from them. All of us know to save money, but many don't save enough money to live even a few months. When you obey or comply with a principle, you receive the benefit of that principle.
However, so many of us are often principle-challenged. For some, it appears rigid, legalistic, needless and insane to be principle-based. They are governed by their feelings. If they feel like it, they do it; if they don't feel like it, they don't. Often this leads to both extremes of too much or too little pleasure.
Enjoying little pleasures daily is one of those principles that if you comply with it, you reap the benefits, just like the man or woman who does their 200 sit-ups a day. They are the ones with the ripped abs.
The power of pleasure can be yours; it can be yours daily and for the rest of your life. Like a recovering person, you can have a whole new life enjoying and harnessing the power of pleasure. Make a decision for yourself.
Which sentence describes you best?
- I agree that pleasure is a principle I want to harness for my life.
- I agree that pleasure may be a principle, but I do not want to harness the power of pleasure in my own life at this time.
You deserve the power of pleasure in your life; now let's go to the next principle.
Principle 3: Make a Plan
Shall we get practical now? That's the whole idea of getting the benefits of the power of pleasure, especially every day. Make a list of some of your pleasures that would take less than 30 minutes a day and begin to harness the power of pleasure in your life today.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The Power of Pleasure You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected]
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