Pleasant and beneficial

श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः
तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते
प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ ॥ कठ उपनिषद् – 1.2.2 ॥

Translation

The beneficial and the pleasant approach man.
The intelligent one examines both and separates them.
Yea, the intelligent one prefers the beneficial to the pleasant,
(whereas) the ignorant one selects the pleasant
He does so to attain that which he does not possess and preserve what he already possesses

 Katha Upanishad – 1.2.2

In all aspects of life, we have two choices: what is pleasant and what is beneficial. What is pleasant often brings us long-term pain and what is beneficial and brings long-term happiness often gives us short-term pain. Faced with these two choices, we choose what is pleasant and not choose what is beneficial. There is often a Grand Canyon like difference between what we actually do versus what we know we should doBeing aware that we behave this way is the first step to do what we should do. Once we are aware we can then learn how we can actually change.

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