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Monday, June 24, 2013

Viceless Day 45-53: Positive Psychology and True Happiness

I've cleared the half-way mark and am edging on 2/3 done with my Viceless commitment. I've found I can divide people into two camps when they hear about this project. One group asks, "Do you feel amazing?!" The other says, "Oh, so you are giving up everything good? When is this craziness over?"

I'm a member of both camps. My favorite thing about being Viceless is how it simplifies my choices. Am I going to buy that candy? No. Am I going to eat a bag of Doritos's? No. Am I going to spend the day watching the Kardashians? No. Great. Decision made. What I don't like is that my pleasure outlets feel limited. I believe strongly in pleasure. I'm a bit of a hedonist and believe let no pleasure pass unenjoyed. Aka: let no chocolate go uneaten. Why then does my pleasure often torture me? That momentary pleasure so often turns to guilt, obliterating my happiness.  

Learning about Positive Psychology is school has begun to clarify my feelings about pleasure. Positive emotions are created from pleasure such as chocolate and wine. That's a plus. The problem is, those pleasures are fleeting. Lasting positive emotions come from pleasure that is attached to meaning. Meaning is derived from using personal strengths toward something greater than the self.

All my life, I've been a big fan of ephemeral pleasures. I leaped at any chance to enjoy the world through my senses. Becoming a Badass and life coaching is the first time I feel like I have purposes and a huge source of pleasure outside of the pursuit of momentary thrills. Being Viceless has upped my work ethic and focus. I'm more productive and less likely to get caught up in my own fruitless and selfish guilt cycle. I'm sacrificing small pleasures (and yes, when I pass someone on the street with an ice-cream cone I feel the sacrifice) for the greater pleasure of helping others. I'm determined to help as many people as possible crush the fears that are destroying their happiness and success.  I'm helping people badass-up to their best lives. I've never felt better. My purpose is clear and I know exactly where I want to go. So, no. I haven't given up everything good. I'm finally working with passion toward the greater good. Positive Psychology is right. The greater good is what leads to lasting happiness.

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