In the previous article we discussed that – as human beings – we generally make decisions based on emotion and back up our emotional decisions with logic. In other words, we rationalize, or tell ourselves… “rational lies.”
When we ended I said that I’d share one of mine. While this happened close to 25 years ago, I’m quite certain I’ve practiced the same basic process all-too-many times over the years; most of which I’m sure I was not even consciously aware of. And, even if I was…I consciously ignored it when it suited me to. 🙂
Back in my “salad days”—so called mainly because that’s about all I could afford to eat – I faced a rather uncomfortable situation pretty much every day at about 5:00 p.m. I was really hungry! The challenge was I didn’t have much money so I always ate what cost the least. Not surprisingly, I never felt quite satisfied after the meal.
One day, on my way home from work, I passed a steakhouse. Um! Um! The very thought of that succulent, juicy steak, that baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream, the soft, warm, freshly baked bread. (This was years ago before we became as concerned as we are today with fatty food intake, but you know what; I was so hungry, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway!)
I stopped in front of that steakhouse but not to actually go in and eat—I knew I couldn’t afford that. I knew if I did I would have hardly any money left until the next payday and that was way far away. But I could at least look at the place from the outside, couldn’t I? I could just stand there and smell it. No charge just for that, right? That was…
RATIONAL LIE #1.
Then I thought, why not go in and just look at a menu? You know, just see what they’ve got. Hey, one day, I’ll actually be able to afford this kind of food and, gosh darn it; I need to be able to picture it. That will give me real incentive to work even harder. Powerful motivation, right? That was…
RATIONAL LIE #2.
Once inside, I thought, and this was kind of true; if I were to eat a hearty meal such as this it would give me the strength to work even harder the next day. All that protein in the meat would be good for me. After all, I didn’t want to get too thin. And the potato – why, the skin alone has vitamins everyone needs. And, and…well, that was…
RATIONAL LIE #3.
Those were all rational lies, weren’t they? That was the logic I used to back my emotional decision, which was to tear into that steak. (By the way, it was the best‑tasting steak I ever ate!)
Have you ever done something like that…or am I the only one? 🙂