I never used to get popcorn at the movie theater. I always wanted to, but could never justify the insane theater prices and the extra calories & fat. I’d always walk past the concession stand and the delectable aroma of fresh popped kernels, half with disdain for my decision to refrain and half with a sense of achievement, for not allowing the movie theater to win.
What I never bothered to realize is that I wasn’t winning either. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to have willpower. But would it have killed me to buy some popcorn every now and again? Would I have really felt that defeated? The answer is no. For so many years of my life, I denied myself the very thing I really wanted. I deprived a good experience of being great….every time I visited the movie theater.
Now this is obviously just one small example of how we automatically take the safe and familiar route every time we are given a choice. When we are presented with new decisions to make, we look to our past experiences. We do what we have done, and what has worked, in the past. On the contrary, just because what we’ve done before has ‘worked’, doesn’t mean there is no better way. If we want something, and we won’t be harming ourselves or others to attain it, my theory is…why not?
Needless to say, I have started to take this approach more in my everyday life decisions. If suddenly I see a good deal for a quick vacation—I book it (Denver, CO journey to ensue!). If I find a great new item of clothing while out shopping—I buy it. If I want a glass of moscato with dinner—you better believe I’ll order it! Because life is too short to not experience every day in the best way possible. Nothing in life is guaranteed, so if you have the means to spur your own happiness, then what are you waiting for?
Of course, I don’t always give in to every whim or desire. As with all things, you have to have balance. But the important thing to remember is that, from time to time, it won’t hurt to live a little. Let your guard down, be open to new possibilities, and for goodness sakes..buy the damn popcorn!