“…action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling…”
â€” William James
missjunebug came across this erudite observation in her email today from the Happiness Project’s Happiness Moment–thanks, Ms. Rubin! These are words to live by no doubt.
On those days when missjunebug has trouble getting going on her endless list of projects because she doesn’t feel like it, she can count on Mr. James’ wise words to nudge her into action. Because it is in taking action that good feelings follow.
Take exercise for example. missjunebug rarely feels like exercising. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A comatose body tends to stay comatose. (jk) That whole inertia thingy. But if she can just take that first step out the door and a few more down the stairs, she’s on her way to an invigorating walk that is guaranteed to make her feel good and each step keeps her moving forward up, up, up the hills on her street to the water tower that marks her turnaround. She smiles all the way home on the downhill return!
missjunebug has learned that feelings and moods are unreliable indicators of what she should be doing. The trick in life as Mr. James reminds us is to make the decision to take the action and watch the feelings follow. And if you’ve chosen your action well–good exercise, good works, good eating, good___you fill in the blank!–you’ll feel great!