A good life is about the diversity of your experiences. And, to have that diversity you will need to practice moderation. No single thing should preoccupy your life so much that there is no space for other things. Even vices when practiced in moderation can quickly become virtues.
And the approach to achieve this is quite simple. The vices you do practice don’t need to be avoided, but rather improved. By concentrating them into better and more convenient methods, you can turn nasty habits into either something benign or even beneficial.
If the goal is to bring happiness to yourself and people around you, it will be easy to notice how vices quickly become virtues. In the end, both an alcoholic and a romantic drink the same wine, the only difference is the quantity.
The 7 Classy Virtues
The best way to force your vices away is to make them classier. Better food, drinks, art, and entertainment are not only more expensive but also more filling to the soul. And if you have enough to drown in the cheap stuff, you will have just enough to go for something better.
The result will be a generally better experience with less negative aspects. And after a while, you will never be able to switch back to your old habits.
Turn Gluttony into Being a Gourmand
Obesity is one of the biggest issues that plague the Western world today. There is a whole list of reasons why being overweight is unhealthy and detrimental to your own life and to the life of those around you.
But, let’s be honest, food tastes great. Enjoying food, especially in good company, lights up something in our brain that tells us that this is something that we should be doing all the time. This is that animal instinct inside all of us.
The solution is not some extreme dieting where you’ll push yourself into depression. Rather, the answer is better food and thus less of it. And the best way to approach it is to even make your own dishes.
A burger from Wendy’s is tasty, but it will never go near a 50/50 pork and beef mincemeat patty with Angus beef and prime pork, well-seasoned with vegetables and packed inside a brioche bun. One of those will fill you up in an instant, with ten times less empty calories you can’t use.
Turn Lust into Art
Similar to gluttony, lust stems from a biological impulse to search for mates and procreate. But, it can easily go too far. With modern marketing where we are showered with images of beautiful people everywhere, it is hard not to get riled up from time to time.
This is solved the old-fashioned way, through art. Every love song you ever heard is a lust song done correctly. Every sculpture of Venus from ancient Rome is done by a guy imagining a woman he can’t have.
Indulgence in imagery will just pull you down. But, if you can turn it into any type of artwork, even literary, you will expend that drive without harming yourself, or anyone else.
Turn Greed into Entertainment
Money talks and a lack of money screams. Everyone fantasized at least once what they might do if they were to win the lottery or a grand prize in a slots jackpot. But, gambling for money will only bring money to the game provider.
The trick is not to gamble for money, but to do so for entertainment. Especially when it comes to sports betting, you can only take a price of a ticket to wager on a match. This way, if you win, you will have that easy money and the satisfaction that your prediction is correct.
And, if you are to miss your mark, you were only paying for entertainment, which was provided.
It is a win-win scenario.
Turn Pride into Assistance
Pride is probably the most destructive of all sins. But, like any other, it is completely natural. If you are a good person that is doing good things, it is normal to feel pride in your accomplishments.
The problem is that this way you might believe that you deserve instant respect from all, which is not guaranteed.
To make your pride productive, you need to share it with other people. Show people how great you are by helping the community and assisting those in need. You may only be doing it for self-promotion, but it is deserved self-promotion and you are actually helping someone.
Turn Wrath into Physical Exercise
Anger on its own is not a bad emotion to have. But, it is a terrible emotion if it festers. Having wrath ignite inside you and slowly burning you from the inside is a sure way to cardiac arrest.
Don’t give your enemies that satisfaction.
Thankfully, there is a sure way to solve wrath, and that is through physical exercise and combat sports. Take up some BJJ or Thai Boxing and spend your anger with people who will accept it and return it.
You will feel good if you win, but you will feel even better if you take a slight beating. That will turn your anger and suffering into productive dedication.
Turn Vanity into Self-care
Vanity is all about looking good and feeling better. The reason why it is destructive is that it is often focused on being better than the wrong person. You should not be measuring yourself to others, because you don’t live inside their head. You should be better than the You of yesterday.
Take care of your skin, and of your appearance, and never forget to love yourself today while striving to be better, healthier, and even more beautiful.
And don’t listen to the media, marketing, and public opinion. Vanity should be used to exclude bat takes about yourself, and not give bad takes about others.
Turn Sloth into Relaxation
Finally, allow yourself to do nothing. This doesn’t mean making free time to do things other than your job, but truly and absolutely nothing. You can practice this every day for only half an hour that you will leave for peace, quiet, and only yourself.
This will magically turn sloth into introspection and meditation. Not only will it remove guilt about not doing anything, because that was your plan, but it will reduce your stress and leave you refreshed for new activities.