Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rewarding One's Self in Keeping With Your Effort....

All positive efforts deserve a positive payback which validates the original effort. For instance, in growing a vegetable garden or fruit trees, your reward would be the healthy literal "fruits" of your labor. The freshly sliced tomato, the ripe peaches, or even the glass of wine.

We could take this theory in another direction by citing the rewards benefited from losing the weight you needed to and then going out and purchasing beautiful new clothes for your beautiful new body (then bump it up a notch and get a few accessories!). In yet another direction, you could use the example of the personal rewards received when after working very hard and diligently to be a good parent for many years and then seeing the glorious outcome of a well adjusted and loving individual that you can now present to the world on their own. They, in turn, becoming even better parents/people than you.

All these labors come into fruition with the final results you had hoped and worked hard for, in it being a gift in itself. But be careful: you should always be mindful of your rewards as to not to undermine your original effort and in doing so start an unhealthy cycle.

Let me refer to the weight loss example first. You should never reward yourself with the object (or habit) that got you into trouble in the first place, like going out to gorge on a large meal to "celebrate" the new you. All this does is place the unhealthy importance on food that you have been trying to psychologically ween yourself off of while taking the weight off. If you want to go out to dinner and feast, pick another reason. Otherwise, you are just undermining your original efforts and will eventually fall right back to day one when you looked into the mirror and decided that you had to make some changes and that a long road lies ahead.

As a parent, you may think you are doing a great job by making up for your inadequate or dysfunctional childhood to one extent or another but too many times I have seen this parental behavior/style backfire in the form of overcompensating and spoiling, resulting in a child who becomes one who feels entitled and unsympathetic to the world around them. This is not good on a generational level.

I find it most fulfilling when your rewards come full circle. These experiences will be more whole and complete. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment while being grateful at the same time. In these accomplishments you will be able to share your wisdom and nurture others in their own personal journeys. Another circle. Another connection. Another smile shared in deep satisfaction and self fulfilling love.

Note: All photos on this post are some of the Rewards from my gardening!