“Prevention is better than cure.” That is one famous line that we know but most of us ignore. Why do we keep on doing things what we know will not do good in us? Why do we participate in unhealthy activities when we know they do more harm than good?
For instance, despite knowledge on the harmful effects of cigarettes and unending warnings labelled on their very packaging, people continue to light those little sticks. Additionally, in spite of the seemingly endless amounts of information we learn on the hazards of drugs, alcohol and other vices, still many continue using it.
Others in line are habitually not sleeping and eating on time, excessive use of gadgets, and eating junk foods are common practices that we all know have a risk on health but people continue on doing. An unhealthy relationship that we keep on pursuing, even swearing/cursing that offends and endangers relationships are example of those things that we know are bad but some finds so hard to let go.
But knowing that these things can bring harm to us, why do still some of us ignore this warnings and choose to do it anyway? There are many reasons but here are some of the most relevant driving forces behind why we do things that we know are bad for us:
- We cling to what’s comfortable and familiar, even if it’s bad for us
We all want to fit in. Sometimes, this leads us to make bad decisions that we may or may not pay for in the end. We are psychologically and biologically programmed to desire steadiness, certainty and comfort. This is equatable to survival. It means that we’ve ensured our existence for at least as long as we can maintain whatever it is we have in our lives. This is the main reason we accept less-than-ideal situations for ourselves: if it’s tolerable, we think it’s acceptable, and we confuse “acceptable” with “ideal,” because that’s what our survival instincts would have us believe.
- We doubt our instincts when they tell us something is wrong
Even when we do see flashing red flags, we don’t know how to identify them as red flags because we don’t trust ourselves or our ability to accurately gauge a situation. We’ve been wrong in the past. We could be fault-finding . We tell ourselves that we ultimately have to overlook the not-so-desirable traits someone possesses to love them for who they really are; we shouldn’t be so judgmental and hold such impossible standards for other people to be perfect. Maybe, we tell ourselves, we’re terribly overreacting and need to just relax. But there is a difference—an enormous difference—between accepting someone entirely and willfully overlooking signs that indicate they could actually be truly detrimental to our well-being.
- We don’t see things as they are—we see them as we are
The downside of feeling strong, confident, positive and healthy, is that you can project those qualities onto things and people who don’t merit them. In the same way that being in a bad mood can make even good things seem awful, being in a great place and wanting love and happiness can cause you to erroneously see it where it doesn’t exist. If we’re in a place of simply just needing to believe a lie to make ourselves feel better, we will. If we choose to overlook the ways we’re not being good to ourselves, we’ll be equally as inclined to disregard the ways other people do the same.
- We choose the mistake because we want the lesson
Sometimes, we do see the red flags—and we go into something anyway. We subconsciously know that there is tremendous learning potential in every experience—even the worst ones give us something incredible to learn. Do I mean to imply we intentionally hurt ourselves? Not quite. We subconsciously but still intentionally choose to have experiences that will grow, heal and change us in the end, even if they hurt like hell initially. Sometimes we have to be smacked awake. Sometimes we need to see what’s wrong to know what would be right. There’s nobody in the world who knows how to police us into a better life more than ourselves.
- Despite all the reasons not to be, we’re still hopeful
Despite all the evidences that this relationship is bad for you, but you convince yourself otherwise. You eat that bowl of ice cream and tell yourself it’s low fat, so you’re in the clear, even though the calorie-count you just ignored offers opposing information.Sometimes, things just feel good when you’re in the moment. It isn’t until you’re paying the consequences later on that you begin to have doubts. It was never a matter of what happened on the outside, it was only how we assumed things would ultimately be.
With all the reasons stated above, still prevention is better than cure, as they say. Though we have the free will to choose what we want to do, we are not free to choose the consequences of that decision. At times, bad decisions can be a blessing in disguise. They help us learn from our mistakes and they become the driving force behind long overdue changes for the better. Just be sure to grow from those naughty deeds and try to become a better person in the future.
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About The Author
Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia Topical Oil user.