Doing good to feel good
"When I do good I feel good. When I do bad I feel bad. That's my religion."
- Abraham Lincoln
We all grew up learning right from wrong, I assume. We learned how to treat others with respect and how to obey the law. We learned about morals. We learned what it means to be a decent human being. We also learned how to take care of ourselves. We learned about proper nutrition and exercise. We learned about proper hygiene and overall cleanliness in general. As adults, it is up to us to keep doing the right things that contribute to our overall wellbeing. Simply put, the better we treat ourselves and others, the better we are going to feel about ourselves and life in general.
Think about a day where you were in the best mood. Everything was going right. You were in the zone. You were owning life and feeling that flow state where everything seems effortless. What you probably were not doing was mistreating others or yourself. You most likely were not breaking the law or putting anyone's lives at risk. No. You were probably doing things that benefitted yourself and/or others. You were most likely putting in well-intentioned, good-hearted efforts, and maybe even feeling the instant gratification of doing good.
We all know what it feels like to mistreat ourselves and others. Unfortunately, there are people who settle for the satisfaction of discomfort, as ironic as that sounds. Perhaps they feel that keeping the bar set low enough for themselves requires the least amount of effort. For some, there is a lot of past trauma that gets in the way. I recommend professional help in those instances. For everyone else, it takes a willingness to do the most good to help benefit our quality of life, whether it involves our relationships, our careers, our nutrition or our general outlook on life.
We know right from wrong. Somewhere along the way, maybe doing what we thought was the right thing, did not go the way we thought it would. That should not give us the green light to give up on doing what we know to be the right thing to do. We know how it feels to do good. We know how it feels to do bad. It's not always that black or white. For the most part, as long as we keep doing what feels right, and not mistreat or pose harm to others or ourselves, we're on the right track. Do good to feel good or do bad to feel bad. You pick.
Very Well Mind: 10 Common Positive Emotions Beyond Happiness