We all deal with urges to do things we shouldn’t. Perhaps it is the impulse to stoke an ugly, recurrent thought. Or maybe it’s the adrenaline rush you feel at a party as negative chatter about someone out of earshot draws you in. Or for you it’s a habit you’d never tell a soul.
Temptation is daily. The story below illustrates how to build daily resolve.
A wise Grandfather sensed jealousy beneath his grandson’s anger. So he said to him– I too, at times, feel a great hate for those who have wronged me. Such thoughts wear me down and do nothing to my enemy. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “Two wolves live inside me. One is good. He lives in harmony with others and takes no offense when none was intended. He will fight only when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
The other wolf is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.” The boy leaned towards his Grandfather and asked, “Which one wins?” With a wan smile the grandfather said, “The one I feed.”
Three Keys to beating temptation…
Turn from the path of least resistance.
Emotion should neither be left behind nor given the driver’s seat. It tends to steer towards path of least resistance. Those paths make rivers and men crooked.
Choose in advance.
Healthy choices need lead time. You must have a plan before the birds fly over. For a recurrent temptation, decide ahead of time what you will do when the moment strikes next. Example: Find someone you can trust who you can call. It’s like someone speaking truth in your other ear when temptation begins to whisper, whether you place the call or not.
Commit to a new habit.
It takes about a month to form a new daily habit. Over time, when you decide ahead of time not only to turn from but also to turn towards, your brain and your character will build new strength for the battle. You are what you repeatedly do.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Frank Outlaw
What has prepared you for moments of temptation?