Focus on the long term

As the Dalai Lama points out, “Good health is considered to be one of the necessary factors for a happy life.” He says the reason it’s difficult to say no to pleasure is that we think saying no to pleasure means we’re denying ourselves something important, the way I felt when I was trying to diet and continued overeating. But if we ask ourselves whether changing how we eat by avoiding animal products—or by abstaining from sugar or white flour or something else we like that’s not good for us—will bring us health and happiness, we shift the focus from losing out on something momentarily, to gaining something that is long-lasting and stable. We are giving ourselves something instead of withholding something from ourselves.