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Thread: It's not what you feel but what you do that often matters

  1. #1 It's not what you feel but what you do that often matters 
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Most of my life I was convinced that my thoughts and feelings determined my actions. After all, it certainly seems to be the case - we eat when we're hungry, drink when we're thirsty, sleep when we're tired, etc. The older I got, the more I became aware that the reverse was true as well. What I physically did, and the environment I placed my self in, often changed how felt and what I spent time thinking about. And surprisingly, it often changed how I felt even when I was almost convinced that it wouldn't, when I thought that what I was about to do was some what pointless or futile.

    It was true with major life decisions as well as simple ones. I don't feel like going to gym, I'm too tired to workout, I say, there's no point in even going, really, but then hey, once I'm there..... It's taken me an embarrassing long time to figure this out.

    This article is a bit about that counter-intuitive process, that what people do often determines how they feel, and something called the Ben Franklin effect.
    The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Surprising Psychology of How to Handle Haters | Brain Pickings

    I especially liked the advice at the end:

    "Pay attention to when the cart is getting before the horse. Notice when a painful initiation leads to irrational devotion, or when unsatisfying jobs start to seem worthwhile. Remind yourself pledges and promises have power, as do uniforms and parades. Remember in the absence of extrinsic rewards you will seek out or create intrinsic ones. Take into account [that] the higher the price you pay for your decisions the more you value them. See that ambivalence becomes certainty with time. Realize that lukewarm feelings become stronger once you commit to a group, club, or product. Be wary of the roles you play and the acts you put on, because you tend to fulfill the labels you accept. Above all, remember the more harm you cause, the more hate you feel. The more kindness you express, the more you come to love those you help."

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