How do you deal with managing a strong temptation?

3 min readAug 1, 2020

Why moderation simply doesn’t work for me.

Rubin’s book about being happier at home clarifies a crucial distinction between two personalities. Both have different answers to the following question.

How do you deal with managing a strong temptation?

Her research found that for some people, occasional indulgence heightens their pleasure and strengthens their resolve. They get panicky and rebellious at the thought of never getting or doing something. These people are called moderators.

But the other camp of people are the ones who do better when they avoid absolutes and strict rules. Because they have trouble stopping something once they’ve started. For them, it’s much easier to give something up altogether than to indulge moderately. These people are called abstainers.

Which category do you fall into?

Personally, abstinence has always been my thing. Not necessarily by choice, it’s just how my brain is wired. Having just one just isn’t possible. Moderation simply doesn’t work for me.

Unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t accept this approach to life. Mainly because we live in a culture that fetishizes moderation, shames monotony, celebrates cheat days, rewards temptation, scoffs at rigidity and insists on indulgence being a healthy and necessary part of a fulfilling life.

Is it any surprise how quickly people become judgmental, insecure and disapproving around abstainers?

The knight of abstinence is not the hero people worship and honor.

My favorite is when moderators explain to abstainers how it’s not healthy to take such a severe approach and they should lighten up and live a little.

Thanks for the advice, but allow me to briefly explain how my brain works.

By abstaining, you don’t have to spend a lot of precious energy justifying why you should go ahead and indulge.

By abstaining, you accept your abnormality instead of trying to become a normal binger like everyone else.

By abstaining, you respect your lack of desire and capacity for moderation.

By abstaining, you take yourself out of the victim position in regard to substances around which you can’t control yourself.

By abstaining, you draw an airtight boundary that guarantees your continued sanity and freedom.

By abstaining, you experience complete relief from the craving you once tried to satisfy through compulsive restricting.

By abstaining, you no longer have a thing to rebel against and can declare yourself free from that thing that used to control you.

By abstaining, you are no longer constrained by numbers, you are liberated by zero.

It’s just easier for me. Abstinence requires no additional thinking on my part.

Now, that may sound sad and boring to you, but it’s pure freedom for me. It’s a privilege. Abstinence is built on the foundation of my true nature, and it is a gift to be cared for and strengthened.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an entire box of chocolate cereal with my name on it.

How do you deal with managing a strong temptation?




Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. CEO/Founder of Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.