Mindstate Motivation Blog

The Target of Temptation is Usually Trouble

b2ap3_thumbnail_MP900423100Here’s the problem!  Temptation is too tempting!  I know that sounds redundant and I suppose it is.  However, it is totally true and that is my point regarding the downside of temptation. 

Think about the concept of temptation for a moment.  You know how it feels.  For example, you’re on a weight loss kick and there it is!  The most beautiful, moist looking, creamy frosted chocolate cake you have ever seen.  You’re in the Sunday lunch buffet line at a favorite restaurant and you can’t jump ahead of the line and you are momentarily stuck right in front of the aforementioned cake.  You fight the temptation to continue staring at it but there it is and you can’t move!  Like I said temptation is usually trouble.  You grab a piece of the cake and rationalize the minor impact it will have in the overall effort to lose weight.

I could cite many additional examples of temptation that are just as compelling.  However, the question is why is the target of temptation usually trouble and what can you do about it?  First, let’s understand what the concept of temptation is.  Well, Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines temptation as: “something that causes a strong urge or desire to have or do something and especially something that is bad, wrong, or unwise.”  Heelllooo!  That definition pretty well sums up why temptation is so tempting and usually trouble!

So, then the second part of the question in the previous paragraph comes into play.  What can you do about minimizing the temptation in your life?  First, it is all about the power of the emotion in the moment of temptation.  The emotion attached to your goal, from which if you acted on the related temptation it would keep you, has to be exponentially greater than the emotion attached to the temptation.  In short, don’t ever set a goal to which you are not 100% emotionally attached.  If you do, the natural temptations that will distract you from your goal will win out.  It’s so simple it seems too easy but that is exactly where overcoming the trouble caused by temptation starts.

Yes, there are all kinds of formal psychologically driven programs for staying on track and learning to resist temptation.  However, virtually all of them, first, force you to look within and admit the degree of emotional attachment you have toward the temptation.  Again, the ultimate goal of these programs is to help you minimize the degree of emotion attached to the temptation while maximizing the emotion you feel toward reaching the ultimate goal.

The formula for success in overcoming temptation, then, is:  Temptation – Emotion < Goal + Emotion²

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