I’m Allergic To Candy: The Benefit of Immediate Consequences

In Blog, Discipline, Mental Toughness
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I’m a candy fiend. Or, at least I used to be until today.

I’ve been a big candy eater since elementary school. There was a corner store right down the street from A.B. Day Elementary called Amy 6 that sold all kinds of candies for cheap. $1 could get you a lot, and Crybabies were the thing back then.

On my way to Masterman in middle school, I’d buy a $.50 cent pack of Skittles every morning from a snack stand on Spring Garden Street.

In high school, we did candy-selling fundraisers. In other words, the bag of candy was literally handed to me – for selling. And I was my own best customer.

In college, there was a 24 hour Super WalMart on the outskirts of Altoona. I remember driving there at 2 AM to buy the 5-pound tub of Twizzlers, and my roommate and me finishing that whole thing in 2 days.

Playing pro basketball, every single time I flew across seas I’d pack my carry-on bag with Mike & Ikes, Skittles, Nerds, Peach Rings, Sugar Babies, and anything else that looked good.

Late in 2016, while searching for a gift (seriously), I discovered The Candy Warehouse, a website that sells every candy I can name and ships it directly to you. Too bad I found it 5 years too late.

Flash forward to this morning. I woke up with ridiculous allergies – sneezing, runny nose – for no apparent reason.

The only thing I did differently yesterday was, in search of a solution to a sugar craving, grabbed a handful of Skittles out of the pantry (from my lady’s PMS snack stash). Now it’s 7:30 AM. and I’ve blown my nose twenty times already.

I’m done eating candy.

***

Put your hand on your head and press. Can you feel that? We humans are hard-headed.

Despite the bevy of knowledge and second-hand experience out there for us to learn from, we often don’t get the message until we personally face the consequences of our own actions. When we take actions that don’t come with immediate consequences, we (foolishly) believe we can get away with said actions forever.

This is what we call “rocking ourselves to sleep.” [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]Rocking yourself to sleep: when the immediate consequences aren’t present, you think you’re getting away with it[/shareable]

My next-day allergic reaction to candy consumption (which has happened just like thisbefore) is my final wake-up call. But what about all the other destructive, wasteful things we do that aren’t helping us at all? How can we project the future of those actions in a real, attention-grabbing way?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself with every action of your day.

If I got an immediate consequence from this, what would it be? I should’ve asked myself this when grabbing the Skittles bag. I had experienced the allergic response before. But time and my own arrogance made me feel I could get away with just a little bit of candy anyway. I’d done it so many times before and been fine!

This question, to me, is the ultimate in self-discipline once made into a habit. Simply asking – and answering – as to what will come from your behavior makes for smarter behaviors.

Am I building or destroying? There is no neutral in life. You’re either getting better or getting worse. Smarter or dumber. More valuable or more fungible. This action you’re doing or about to take – where is it taking you? How does it affect your future? No matter how seemingly inconsequential, it is doing something.

This is worth it because… My answer when grabbing the Skittles may have been, because I want some candy! But depending on where your relationship with your conscience is now, this question can help you in being honest with yourself. We all have willpower; sometimes we just need to be reminded that we have it. And the muscle grows with use.

Discipline is hard work at first. And it’s definitely not fun to start yourself on discipline without help. But a few good questions, asked at the right time, can save you a lot of used tissue.

The Mirror Of Motivation is the best book on Discipline ever written. Buy it now. 

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