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Day 44: Pleasure Can Become Punishment

“Whenever you get an impression of some pleasure, as with any impression, guard yourself against being carried away by it, let it await your action, give yourself a pause. After that, bring to mind both times, first when you have enjoyed the pleasure and later when you will regret it and hate yourself. Then compare to those the joy and satisfaction you’d feel for abstaining altogether. However, if a seemingly appropriate time arises to act on it, don’t be overcome by its comfort, pleasantness, and allure—but against all of this, how much better the consciousness of conquering it.”


I was never a morning person in my life, not even in college or school days. Getting up in the morning has always been a struggle for me. On weekdays I used to get up at 9-10 with just enough time margin to get ready and reach the office on time. And weekends were for catching up on my sleep. So I can’t even tell the time when I used to get up on weekends without embarrassing myself. And of course, if I am getting up so late it clearly means I can’t sleep early. Your sleeping time and your bedtime is always correlated.

But then I realized the ill effects of such a way of living. I won’t dwell on that, maybe will write another post for that. But say for some reason, I decided to start getting up early. And with early I don’t mean 7-8. It means at 5’o clock in the morning, when it’s still dark. I know it’s quite early. But this single habit has changed my life.

Now it is very easy to get up at 5 on weekdays. You have so many things planned out for the day and the extra morning hours feel like a boon. But on weekends, when you don’t have much to do(especially in these covid times) it is easy to fall back to the older habits.

And I remember that I have fallen to this bait at times. Yeah, it felt good at that time, when I switched off the alarm, again pulled up my blanket, and fallen back into my sweet dream world. But after getting up, it felt like my day was over very quickly. I felt like neither I have completed my chores(daily and weekend specials) nor I have actually had done the fun things that I thought I will do on weekend. The whole day seems like a waste, just because I decided not to abstain from this pleasure of sleeping extra hours.

The next weekend I tried to do the opposite I did earlier. I got up at 5 and started doing things in my regular rhythm. Finished all the chores by 10. After that, the whole day was mine to do whatever I wanted to do. If I want I can sleep too to catch up on those missing extra hours without feeling guilty or sad this time.

So, stop snoozing your life for quick and cheap pleasure. Start ditching those cheat days. Try to form a discipline and see that it will make you much happier in the long run.

Ques: When was the last time a cheat day felt like a punishment to you?

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

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