A virtuous life: restraint


Have you ever had a relationship that began with an incredible passion? Remember how you worried every time he saw his girlfriend, and wanted to be with her every day, every second? But after a few months many began openly to withdraw you out. You’re tired. The fire was unbearable and turned into a little spark.

Or remember how you first went to some awesome place. The first few months you enjoyed it, watched with awe at the unusual landscape. You even went outside to admire how beautiful the world is. Time waits for no man, and once exciting becomes your habitual background of your everyday life.

Remember how you bought a cool CD, and could listen to it all day, with incredible interest? But after a few months it became just a background, which you have not noticed. In the end, you’re tired of it and began to turn on another disk.

What is common in all of these situations? They all show how fast our brain gets used to the violation. First, we intensively absorb information, but our brain quickly gets used to calling them incentives. In the end, these incentives no longer bring us satisfaction, and people become immune to their effects. So most people trying to try something unfamiliar, to re-experience those new feelings.

We are always looking for more excitement, more sexual, more movies, more music, more booze, more money, more freedom, more food. More of something that can be perceived as a cure for boredom. Yet, paradoxically, the more the excitement we have, the less pleasure we derive from classes or things. The key to overcoming the foregoing is a restraint.

Restraint, as it seems at first glance, now useless. Around one extreme. We have extreme sports, supergestort, superintelligence drinks. We’re looking for extremes, because wrongly believe that the more intense the feeling, the more joy they will bring us.

People crave excitations

Never go to excess, let the restraint be your guide. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

People are always looking for strong excitation. Here’s a good example from the history of ancient Rome. Gladiator fights in the Coliseum, which became known thanks to movies like «Gladiator», has started on a much smaller scale. The tradition originated in funeral rites when burying important men. Two prisoners fought to the death. Who killed his enemy, was released.

Over time, these battles began to occur more and more often and became more and more violent. Military officials and political figures vying sought to participate in the organization of these fights. Competitions have become increasingly popular and as a source of entertainment for ordinary Romans. Feeling that people are interested in 40 year BC, the year Julius Caesar gave the first gladiatorial fights that had nothing to do with the funeral of noble men.

Games became more ambitious and barbaric. The interest in the games was so high that eventually was built by the famous Colosseum, so that they could accommodate all those who wanted to watch the fights. These fans constantly demanded that fights were more violent. The game is carefully and meticulously planned to meet the expectations of the audience, and it led to the transformation of the competition between the gladiators bloody circus where humans abused animals who are killed for fun. Even women, children, the blind men and dwarves were forced to fight to the death.

People expect that each subsequent issue will be more bloody and perverse than the previous one. But the organizers could not keep up with the bloodthirsty appetites of the crowd. The rulers of Rome could not continue to strengthen the Gladiator fights and to increase their scope indefinitely, so over time it is forgotten.

History of gladiatorial combat illustrates a very important paradox: the more excitation will not satisfy your desires, it will only increase the appetite for it.

Increases our arousal, increased appetite, and satisfy it becomes impossible. As a result, the excitation level reaches a certain point of no return, when the same things that brought pleasure, stop doing it. In search of more of strong excitation are you damaging the delicate mechanisms of pleasure and enjoyment result. You can overload the pleasure centers in the brain, that person will cease to enjoy whatever it is.

As abstinence can increase the pleasure

When we feel boredom and dissatisfaction, there are two ways to restore our sense of fun and enjoyment. First, you need to look for new sources of pleasure. Can often start to go out, more sex and buy new things. But the fiercer you do it, the faster it ceases to be fun. The alternative is to enjoy what you’re doing.

To reconnect with your feelings. In our society too much pleasure. We have lost the sensitivity to shades of feeling, to the last detail. You don’t need to look for new sources of excitement, you have to rediscover for themselves what had not noticed before in familiar things. Stop mindlessly eating. Try to include in your foods, new spices, pay attention to the flavor, try to feel the structure of each piece that you put in your mouth. Instead eat a lot of cheap food and drink cheap beer, learn to savor and appreciate the craftsmanship from which it is prepared dish. Gaze into the night sky. Imagine touching the skin of his girlfriend, and enjoy the feeling which arouse these thoughts. We go through life like some zombie, not really knowing anything. Wake up and start to understand the astonishing structure of this world.

Be kept that in abundance to experience the joys of life. ~Epicurus

Keep in check your emotions. The more you want something, the more fun you will have when you finally get it. If you eat ice cream every day, it won’t be just as good as if you ate it only once a month. The more you want the new car will get more pleasure when finally able to buy it. Have you ever noticed that anticipation of a holiday can be even better than the holiday itself? Desire and enjoy the exquisite pleasure of waiting.

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