Last summer my husband and I went on a road trip to California. Like many PNW residents, we love the outdoors. So, of course on our way back to Washington, we had to visit Mt. Shasta. We laced up our hiking boats and meandered through the woods for a couple hours. It felt so good to get out in fresh air and to feel the sunshine on my face. It felt so good I wanted to taste it.
Isn’t that what it’s like when we encounter something that feels good? We just want to sit in it, dance in it, and devour it?
When you get back from a heavy workout, that cold drink brings great relief.
When you pass your last final for graduation, the anxiety has lifted.
When you finally forgive, the weight of bitterness has disappeared.
Notice my examples demonstrate “the feel good” feeling after the task has been completed?
Sometimes I try to focus on how good it will feel once I complete the hard stuff. If I focus on the difficult challenge at hand (the hard workout, the final, or the forgiveness), then I’ll psych myself out of doing it. However, if I focus on the reward, I’ll be more encouraged to follow through.
In other words, I’ve been training myself to fixate on tasting the sunshine and not on the daunting task at hand. When we hiked Mt. Shasta, I wasn’t in the mood for exercise. Instead, I focused on the reward. How good it’s going to feel afterwards. Thinking in this way has given me a natural motivation and desire to seek out greater challenges with greater rewards.