Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.
“What do you mean, why donuts?”
“Why do you eat donuts?” Chubby asked.
“They taste good,” I replied.
“But do donuts make you feel good?” he asked.
“While I’m eatin’ ‘em,” I said.
“How about afterward?” Chubby inquired.
(He was gettin’ personal. I was 12 years old and weighed over 200 lbs.).
“Not really,” I admitted. “I feel stuffed and my face is all oily.”
“Greg, do you know the difference between a good feeling and feeling good?” Chubby asked.
Before I could respond, he continued, “A good feeling comes from things like eating donuts. It’s a temporary moment of pleasure.”
“Feeling good is different. It’s when you ace a test at school. You’re proud. You feel good about yourself. Do you understand?”
(I had a suspicion where Dad was headed- and it didn’t bode well for donuts.)
“So,” I suggested, “Running a mile might make me lose weight and feel good about myself even though it wouldn’t be a very good feeling while I was doing it, right?”
“Exactly!” exclaimed Chubby.
“Life is a tradeoff between good feelings and feeling good. Donuts provide a good feeling at the expense of feeling good.”
“Yeah,” I replied. “I feel that way a lot.”
I got Dad’s message. It was a vicious cycle. Donuts were my good feeling escape from who I was. They did not make me feel good about who I was.
The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?
Life is a choice. Good feelings? Feeling good!