Friday, June 30, 2017

You Can't Go to McDonald's and Order the Salad

McDonald's offers "healthy choices" on their menu, chances are, you won't order one.  (even if you did, some "salads" with dressing, have more calories than a Big Mac!).

One way to avoid temptation is to simply avoid temptation.   I know this sounds moronic, but our behaviors are programmed into us before birth.  Our tendencies to self-indulge are hard-wired in our brains.  We look down upon others who use drugs, drink too much, or are overweight or are shopaholics and having "weak resolve" while at the same time not examining our own behaviors too closely.

The long and the short of it is that if you put yourself in a situation where there is temptation, odds are you will grab at that temptation and run with it.   Self-control is just not in the cards.   Granted, it may be true that your "self-control" may work once or twice, but the more you expose yourself to temptation, the more you are likely to succumb.

For example:
You can't buy a smart phone and not compulsively play with it.

You can't go into a casino, "just to look around".

You can't go to the pound and not come back with a dog.

You can't go to the pizza shop and not have a slice.

You can't go to the car dealer "just to kick the tires."

You can't go to the "all you can eat" buffet and eat responsibly.
You can't rely on "self control" with a crack pipe.
And so on and so forth.   Human nature is what it is.  We are all weak.   Avoiding temptation is a better plan than "self control".  Not putting yourself into situations where you are likely to succumb to temptation is a better plan.  NOT going to a casino is a far better plan than going and promising "not to gamble (too much)."

And yes, this goes for drugs as well.   I recounted before about a friend of mine whose husband, at age 30 in Law School became a crack addict.   How did this happen?  Well, they had been smoking pot, so using drugs was a "norm" to them.   And the Law School was in a bad part of town and surrounded by drug dealers.   He walked by them every night on his way to his car.   Eventually, one night, he struck up a conversation with one of them, hoping to buy pot.  The rest is history.  He is in jail right now for running a meth lab.

Not smoking pot would have been a better choice.  Parking in a different place (even if that meant paying to park) would have been another.   When you place yourself into a situation where there is temptation, over and over again, you will eventually succumb.

Which is why I say you can't hang out with pot-smoking friends and expect not to smoke pot.   Eventually, the temptation and accessibility will conspire and you'll say, "Well, OK" and before long you are "chronic" who looks at pot-smoking as a religion.

We all have weaknesses and are all tempted.   The easiest way to avoid temptation is to avoid putting ourselves in situations where it is easy to be tempted.   The idea that we have "self control" is illusory.