We can write a loooong list of things, people and activities, we want to have, do and be.
Although many of such desires should be pursued, not all of them will make our lives necessarily better.
Personally, I love M&Ms yellow and my emotional side would love to eat them every day.
My rational side however tells me I shouldn’t because other wants and desires in my life are far greater and predominant than eating a bag of yellow M&Ms every day.
For example, I want to feel good and healthy and look good and healthy.
These desires outweigh the desire to eat chocolate or a Big King XL burger every day.
Social media and phone use are other examples of activities I may want to do while I know I shouldn’t.
Using a smartphone is in and of itself, not a terrible activity of course.
It can be very pleasant and there is nothing wrong with that.
Nevertheless, going for your phone all the time like an obedient puppy chasing a stick is not a good idea of course.
When a notification pings, we want to go for our device.
After you’ve checked the notification, you may notice that it was in fact an unnecessary activity.
Whatever it was your phone wanted to let you know, could have waited.
Especially when you were focusing on a particular activity or person, checking your phone or social media should have been avoided if you want to stay in your zone or flow.
It is key to make a clear distinction between what you want and what is good for you or what you enjoy.
Yes, I notice I want to go for my phone sometimes but in the act, I stop myself because I know it is not going to be a pleasant experience.
Or I realize that the person in front of me in the offline world is far more important at this very moment, anyone else in the digital world can wait.
The act of phubbing needs avoidance and therefore when I’m with people, I think twice before going for my phone while I actually do want to check it out! (that reflex and those levels of curiosity can be strong!)
But I just don’t do it.
Write down which activities you want to do that you should NOT be doing (at a particular moment).
Get clear about such wants and stay vigilant when these wants to pop up in your mind at any given moment.
Wanting something and enjoying something are not the same. Don’t allow your emotional side to dominate your mind, give it some space to let the rational mind participate in the decision-making process.
Get clear about what it is that you really want, so you’re not going to sacrifice what you want most for what you want now.