It is perhaps the most challenging part of being an adult – realising that most good things in life come after action. Be that motivation, inspiration, momentum, direction, creative juices, freshly baked cookies…you name it.
On the flipside, there are very few desirable things that come from inaction.
It’s the same for the feeling of fulfilment and joy that come after a generous act. We know that the brain and the body respond in positive ways when we are generous to others. We like the feeling of our brain and body responding like that. But we don’t always do the thing that brings about that feeling.
It first requires action. It needs proactive behaviour that chooses to be generous first, then experience the good things follow.
To find the good things in life, you must act first. To find that good feeling and the positive outcomes of generosity, you first must be generous. The beauty is that it can start with your thoughts. You can even think generously about someone and start to receive some of the benefits. But don’t leave it there. It’s not a real act until you act it out.
I am not the first person to be confronted by it and I won’t
be the last, but it is still overwhelming. To discover that I have an addiction
was quite a shock. There weren’t any tell-tale signs, or specific behaviour
which would have given it away and it wasn’t until I sat thoughtfully and
considered what motivated me in my decisions that I noticed it, staring me in
I am addicted to feeling good. It might not sound like much
but it is a sneaky little motivation that has robbed me of so much. It has kept
me from being bold, trying new things, building strong relationships, having
difficult but necessary conversations, and ultimately it has kept me from
You see, as one of the motivating jets that can make my
decisions on a sub-conscious level, feeling good has kept me inside my comfort
zone, unchallenged and lacking integrity. Sure there are other things that can
motivate our behaviour without us realising it, but for me feeling good is my
But, as with any addiction, the more you acknowledge it,
talk about it and understand it, the less control it has. Over time, as I have
noticed it playing out, I have been slowly replacing the urge to feel good with
the desire to allow myself to feel uncomfortable. To sit the space of
discomfort and realise that it won’t kill me, but in fact it could be the exact
thing that I need to experience to get to where God is calling me to go.