Happiness in a Vice

I don’t smoke.

I’ve never tried drugs.

I’ve nearly cut sugar from my diet.

I’ve dramatically cut back on my caffeine intake.

There is a list of things that I have been cutting from my life for various reasons. Some are in the name of being more productive, to lead to happiness elsewhere, such as in the case of things that interfere with my writing. Others (such as smoking and sugar) are for my health.

I am someone who goes to the gym 5 days a week and tries to be moderately active on the weekends. I can deadlift well over 300 lbs and am working greatly to increase that number. It’s a goal of mine to be lifting over well 400 lbs in a set by the end of the year. Eventually I would also like to be the proud owner of a six-pack (pun intended although I really mean toned abs).

Now lifting weights and getting bigger just takes effort and maybe more time. The getting toned abs takes a little more sacrifice and that could be a hurdle I will not be willing to jump.

Today I saw this meme.

abs are cool

How true. I LOVE beer. Like, I REALLY LOVE beer. Generally, I drink 1 to 2 days a week. It’s one of my biggest vices. It’s one that I have refused to give up yet, and well… I may never be willing to. I’d like to drink every day if possible, but I know that is a little out of reach and I do not wish to develop that form of alcoholism (believe it or not it is, although not nearly as bad as what we normally think alcoholism to be). But beer has been sited as a hindrance to toning enough to show abs. What do I do?!

That brings me to the entire point of my writing this post: vices. All of us have them. Many of us struggle to get past them when they hold us back from something we want. I know that it has taken me a LOT of time to wean off of the few I’ve gotten past. There are plenty I haven’t yet. And given my push over the last 2 years to get into shape, I’ve considered killing all of my vices with the only exceptions being for when there are special occasions. What I never considered, was how that would impact my happiness.

Let’s face it, how awesome would abs be if you had to sacrifice all of the things you loved, the vices, (such as beer for me) that bring some enjoyment to life?

My answer: they would suck.

If I couldn’t drink beer when I wanted, it would suck. If I couldn’t get the time to write (because until it is a career, it is also a vice as much as it is a hobby) because I needed extra cardio sessions to trim down, it would suck.

Basically, when you are evaluating the vices you have in life, be careful to look out for the ones that truly make you happy, because deep inside that is what we are all after, isn’t it? Your goals have to be weighed against the vices in the way. If the goal is truly more important, then by all means make the sacrifices that would take you to your goal. But by all means, be happy with whatever decision is made. Vices don’t have to be bad.

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