I love mountain dew. But what exactly does that mean?
Sometimes late at night, when I’m writing or working on websites I’ll suddenly get that sugar craving that most of us are familiar with. Unfortunately, I don’t keep soda or sweets in the house for this very reason.
Instead I make myself decide if it’s worth it to drive down to the local gas station at 11:00 p.m. just to get a Mountain Dew.
Sometimes…it’s worth it
After a five minute drive down Highway 97 I pull into the Arco store, walk over to the cool refrigerator stocked full of that delicious green drink. I pull open the door and grab a 36 ounce bottle (yes, the big boy). But then I think. Does this help with my six pack? No.
Okay, what about my endocrine system? Nope, not good for that either.
Nervous system? Nuh-uh. Cardiovascular? Don’t think so.
Is there anything Mountain Dew is good for?! (By this time I’m literally screaming at myself.)
I put the Mountain Dew back, but I stand there staring at the cool foggy glass door, and another series of questions pop into my head.
Does this help me have fun in life? Yes. Does it taste good? Yes. Will it satisfy my current craving and help me stay up a bit later to work tonight? Yes.
I pick the Mountain Dew back up, pay the cashier (in cash because Arco doesn’t accept credit, crazy right?), and then drive back home.
By the time I’m in the car I already know getting 36 ounces of sugary goodness was a mistake. But it’s too late.
I’ve already committed to making this bad decision.
Why was this a mistake though?
The Mountain Dew is going to be delicious. Especially after I let it sit in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just long enough to add that delicate frostiness.
Still, it’s a mistake because it’s a conflict of goals.
One of my most important goals is to live a healthy life. Mountain Dew obviously doesn’t help with that.
But…this is where the terrible reasoning comes in; it does help with another goal, which is to enjoy life. The problem is I won’t be enjoying life very long with a body full of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
That brings me to the one question.
Before making any decision in life (yes, any), you should ask yourself one question:
Does this bring me closer to my (most important) goals?
I happen to like Derek Sivers answer to this question the best. It’s either hell yes, or no.
Do I really want a Mountain Dew? Yes.
That’s not a hell yes. So, it’s a no.
I honestly believe 99.9% (yes, I made that statistic up) of all decisions can be solved this way. The problem is most of us are too lazy to stop and ask the question.