Focus on your pride

When we go out to eat, should we think about how bad we feel if we eat the fried fish, French fries and chocolate cake? Or, should we consider how good we’ll feel if we eat the baked fish and steamed vegetables?

Focus on your pride, advises Deborah Macinnis, vice dean for research and strategy and a professor at the University of Southern California.

“If we focus on the pride that comes from good behavior, we make better choices. By far,” Macinnis writes in an article in the July, 17, 2011, Dallas Morning News.

MacInnis and her colleagues did one research project that involved a very large piece of chocolate cake. They asked one group to focus on the pride they would feel if they resisted eating the cake, and then they asked another group to think about the shame they would feel if they ate it.

They found that “anticipated pride outperformed anticipated shame,” Macinnis concludes. “Think about the positive effects of doing the right thing. And you probably will.”

We’ve been practicing feeling proud of ourselves, and we think it helps. Would you try focusing on your pride the next time you go out to eat, and then let us know what  happens?

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