No rain, no rainbow
If you want to have the most delicious meal you’ve ever had in your entire life, there’s no need to spend a fortune going to a Michelin 3-star restaurant to eat food prepared by a famous chef.
In fact, you can have the most delicious meal you’ve ever had in your entire life anytime you want, at no extra cost whatsoever. All you have to do is to take any ordinary food that you enjoy a lot and add one spice:
The best food in the world is the food you eat when you’re really, really hungry. The hungrier you are, the tastier the food is.
This, by the way, is one of my favorite benefits of intermittent fasting, of which I am an adept. After spending 16 hs without eating anything, pretty much anything I want tastes amazing, and when I get to eat something that I actually enjoy under normal circumstances, I moan with pleasure.
But if eating while hungry makes you enjoy the food more, the opposite is also true. Try to eat something when your stomach is full and you’re not gonna feel much pleasure.
Everything in life is like that. We enjoy things more when they relieve pain.
Hunger is different from craving because hunger causes physical pain, while craving is just desire, and satisfying a desire never feels as good as relieving pain.
Eating when you’re starving, drinking water when your mouth is dry, having sex when you’re horny, peeing when you’re about to wet your pants, sleeping when you’re fighting to keep your eyes open. I could go on.
I often watch some videos online to warm my heart. Some of my favorites are compilations of deaf people hearing for the first time, color blind people seeing colors for the first time, and soldiers coming back from service and surprising their families. It feels good to watch those emotional reactions, generally loaded with tears of joy, and I catch myself wondering how good they must be feeling.
But I will never experience the joy of hearing for the first time or seeing colors for the first time. I may experience the joy of receiving a surprise visit from my daughter after months (or years) without seeing her, but honestly, I don’t want to. I prefer that she never spends so much time apart that a surprise visit would make me cry of joy.
Purposefully inflicting pain on myself just to experience the pleasure of relief would be creepy. But I learned to accept the pain that comes with life, knowing that the pain of today will become a pleasure tomorrow when the pain is removed.
No rain, no rainbow.