SO, I know that's a pretty grand title, and believe me, I'll get to that point. But to begin I have to explain the thought process that led me there.

I've had the idea for a while now that my life would be considerably better if I could fully control my own actions, based solely on reasonable decisions. However, this doesn't seem to be the current case. The other day, after having eaten half a pizza, I still had the other half left. I KNEW that: the calories would worsen my already burgeoning weight problem, that my girlfriend would be mad that I didn't save her dinner, and that there would be shame in my own lack of self control if I ate the pizza. I was even full, and knew that it would cause me some discomfort to carry the extra food around. But the smell of that cheese and pepperoni was too much, and I ate it anyways.

The ultimate result was worse than if I'd just put the half back in the fridge. I knew it was an unreasonable choice and that the end would be bad, but I made that decision anyways. And as an atheist, I find it very disturbing that I can't even enforce my own reason on myself. I've seen the same pattern evolve with homework, getting up in the morning, exercise, cleaning, masturbation, even things like my work. The immediate reward of procrastinating, eating, laying there, etc is overwhelmingly chosen, and I don't even usually like the outcome

I feel that if I were somehow able to force myself to make the "correct" choices, my life would be better. I'd be healthier, I'd be fit, I'd go to bed on time, I'd get better grades, I'd live in a spotless apartment, and I'd have more money. There is no question that overriding my base desires would (a vast majority of the time) improve my life.

So now I admit, the title was just to catch your eye- it is a far reaching extension of my own observations about myself. It is a bit of a reach to assume that just this is the source of "man's suffering". But I do still pose the question- how can one overcome these short term, self-destructive, basic desires, these urges, in order to undoubtedly improve your life?

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The lack of a need for self-respect can be very liberating. Obviously, that's the way it works for many people.

Isn't that just despair? 

This is a mother of three speaking - you are a lazy, self-absorbed, spoiled, entitled, selfish brat, who, if you don't wake up, you will end up living in a quagmire, sans girlfriend and job, and the only thing left to you will be lots of hand manipulation, and how boring would all that be.

Just picture that in your head. You are the epitome of the self-absorbed kids that are sent to Africa to straighten  them out, how would you like to see starving children nothing to eat, no education, then you may realize how lucky you are, and you are throwing everything away.

How's that, Lee?  You're wasting your life away. 

How do you overcome these urges?  Grow a backbone. 

I'm a bit insulted, and I don't think you're entirely accurate, but I see your point.

I just hate to see obviously bright people waste their abilities. It is just too easy to sit around, and not do anything constructive. You are far too young for this - that may start to happen when you eighty :) Bombing out is good - but there is a time for that - get your education done - then you can go the bahamas, just not at the moment. As for your girlfriend, the lack of respect for her is jaw dropping.

Hey, we're roughing you up in order to shake you up.  It's nice that you care. 

It is said, "Desire is the source of all sorrow." He who desires nothing, can never be disappointed.

The inability to control one's urges is often a sign of some deeper unhappiness.  Consider what might be causing you long term discontent and try to take real world steps to fix it.

 I have also chosen a life of indulgence, but urges are the source of my pleasure!  The thing is though, I know I have to get to the gym 5 days a week, and go easy on the junk food, or I'm gonna just feel like shit all the time. I know I only have this one life and I want to experience everything, but if you try to do it all at once you'll have a pretty short life, and that would suck. P.S. Another key to a happy life is keep your significant other happy. Save her at least a slice next time!

Sorry Michael, but REALLY?! "Save her at least a slice next time!" - just enough to show her what she missed?! I'd hate to be a fly on the wall in THAT situation. I wouldn't have eaten more than my share in the first place, but if I had only one slice left, I'd be better off flushing it and claiming the dog ate her half!

And if I didn't have a dog, I'd borrow one!

Of course, if he REALLY felt badly (which we know he didn't or he wouldn't have eaten it in the first place), the best alternative might have been to say, "Honey, you deserve better than pizza - I'm taking you out to dinner --"


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