My brother, Robbie, who passed away in 1999, was a connoisseur of many things, including chocolate. And he would eat chocolate in threes, three pieces at a time. His reasoning was that if you’re only going to limit yourself to one piece of chocolate, you might as well not even bother.
The first piece just sort of wakes up your taste buds. The second piece, now you’re really enjoying it… and the third piece is a nice bracket, a nice bookend at the end of that experience.
This method has two important aspects to it that are very interesting.
One is that by using a little bit of discipline in advance of enjoying the chocolate, he was giving himself permission to enjoy it, there was some freedom there to enjoy this pleasure.
The second thing is that when you set a limit in advance, you avoid over-indulging and over-indulging is often what makes us feel guilty about the pleasure that we just enjoyed.
So, whether your enjoyment is chocolate or something else, consider applying a little bit of discipline in advance and see if that doesn’t not just provide the freedom to enjoy it, but it might even help you enjoy it that much more.