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Challenge your Mindset

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A practical way to stop making bad choices


There’s no avoiding bad choices in life. It’s part of the process of living. When you come across a fork in the road or you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, there’s no guarantee you’ll make the right decision; it’s how you respond to the consequences that counts. There will come choices though where mistakes could be avoided. Sometimes we take shortcuts to success we should have taken the long path. Sometimes we prioritise our happiness and comfort over attainment or the feelings of others. Deep down inside, we know we shouldn’t, so how do we avoid the temptation of making these bad choices? What is a practical way to stop?

The art of framing

The greatest challenge regarding bad choices is the instant gratification that often comes with them. For example, a quick half an hour episode of your favourite Netflix show seems like an innocent indulgence, but the time wasted builds up as you go through each series. Chores don’t get done, work gets put off and the simplest tasks grow ever more complicated as you give yourself less time. Framing your actions within a wider timescale can help greatly with avoiding instant gratification. By having a longer time period within your vision, such as a wall calendar or a daily chart can give you the context and perspective you need for each choice you make.  You shouldn’t delay tasks that need to be done today if they take time away from more important tasks in the future. You will be taking care of your future self by giving yourself enough time to do everything that needs to be done. [The 6 things preventing you from succeeding]

Delayed gratification

When you have grasped the concept of framing, you are forced to make more practical decisions based on their effects and the time they consume. By adopting a larger scale of thinking, you ultimately make more informed and effective choices. When you do have free time come up in your schedule, that is the time to indulge yourself, for being efficient and hard-working. What was once instant gratification for you – your Netflix shows – becomes delayed gratification, and it’s so much more satisfying. Allowing yourself these indulgences only when you have the free time feels more like a reward than a distraction or procrastination method. It becomes less shameful and more enjoyable. You will also develop a better relationship with gratification, by being more capable of preserving the feeling and not overindulging in it. [Organise me]

Stopping yourself from making bad choices isn’t easy, but it’s important to think of the after-effects. Will the gratification last? Will it make a negative impact on your future self? The example of Netflix is trivial, but the art of framing also applies about to serious matters like relationships or building a business. The good-looking but ultimately untrustworthy love interest may be gratifying at first but where will pursuing a relationship with them leave you over time? Taking a quick loan out to pay for some groundwork on your business might get the ball rolling quicker, but what if your progress grinds to a halt when you can’t keep up repayments. It pays to be patient and appreciate how good hard work feels. Then you will realise why you should stop making bad choices.



This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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