People who practice mindfulness strategies like to talk about the various small habits of resistance we all tend to accumulate. We point out the dangers of putting off our happiness until some point in the future. But isn’t there some value in motivating ourselves through unpleasant tasks and activities by imagining the relief that will follow? Is there really anything wrong with taking a bit of comfort during a tedious meeting or lecture on Wednesday morning by imagining how much fun we’re planning to have on Friday evening?
The answer has to do with our assumptions about the skills of paying attention. What is the point of learning to stay in the present more often? Isn’t this just one more trendy drop in the ocean of self-improvement strategies that fail to live up to their promises?