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Healthier Living VS Indulgence: How to Live Your Most Fulfilling Life

None of us knows how long we have to live. If there’s a chance you might die next week, does it mean you should choose indulgence over living healthier this week? Wouldn’t the rest of your short life be more fulfilling if you had donuts for dinner and played computer games – rather than eating a vegetable salad and going to the gym?

Not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know about living your most fulfilling life (video included).

Striking a Balance: The Art of Fulfillment through Healthy Living Over Hedonism

Fulfillment refers to a deep sense of satisfaction and completeness arising from living in alignment with your values, aspirations, and authentic self.

How fulfilled is it possible to be?

Fulfillment encompasses a feeling of wholeness and meaningfulness in most aspects of your life, including your relationships, work, personal growth, and overall well-being.

As a human, if you want to experience a deep sense of fulfillment, you will likely have to look beyond fleeting happiness or in-the-moment pleasure and into building situations that leave you feeling purposeful and accomplished.

The Meaning of Indulgence

Fulfillment is a subjective experience.

What brings fulfillment to you might be different than what fulfills someone else.

What matters most is finding and cultivating the elements of your life that resonate with your individual values, aspirations, and desires. Doing this can help foster a greater sense of purpose and lasting contentment within you.

mature healthier woman hiking outdoors postponing indulgence for a fulfilling life

Generally, moving toward things that feel good is a wise idea.

Pleasure-seeking and instant gratification are not always bad things. After all, the feeling of joy is one of life’s greatest gifts. And choosing sensualism, hedonism, or indulgence over long-term planning can help you remain present.

Mindful presence is a state of focused awareness and full engagement in the present moment without judgment or distraction.

Being in-the-moment involves directing your attention intentionally to whatever is happening in the here and now, whether it’s an internal experience (such as thoughts and emotions) or stimuli (such as sights, sounds, and smells).

The idea with presence is, if you’re going to eat the cookie, really slow down and taste it, experience the full flavor, texture, and sugar rush.

Indulgence is the act of allowing yourself to enjoy or experience something pleasurable, often in a self-gratifying or self-satisfying manner:

• Indulgence means satisfying your desires, cravings, or impulses, typically without strict restraint or moderation.

• Indulgence can pertain to many aspects of life, including sensory pleasures, material possessions, and behaviors that might not be considered strictly necessary or essential.

• Indulgence is a natural human inclination, and finding a healthy balance between embracing pleasurable experiences and maintaining responsible self-care is essential.

In some cases, indulgence can enhance overall well-being and provide a break from routine, but mindful consideration of the consequences and context is essential to ensure that indulgence remains a positive and enriching aspect of life.


The easiest way to determine if indulgence is worth it is to ask yourself if it’s harming yourself or others.

To do harm – to yourself or someone else – means you have to turn off the part of your psyche that is compassion and empathy.

As soon as you switch-off your empathy, you’re no longer having a fully dimensional human experience.

In other words, you’re limiting yourself.

Speaking metaphorically, compassion, empathy, and kindness are the dynamics that take a human life from black-and-white into full-spectrum color.

Sometimes when the concept of Do No Harm is discussed, there comes with it an undertone of moralizing, shame, or judgment. But that is not the framework here. This is about how to live your most fulfilling life. This is about embracing your humanity.

Finding the Balance Between In-The-Moment Pleasure and Careful Habits

At first glance, healthy living and hedonism might appear as polar opposites, but a deeper analysis reveals surprising commonalities.

Healthier living and indulgence are both lifestyles driven by the pursuit of happiness and contentment.

Hedonism is rooted in the pursuit of immediate pleasure, while aspects of healthy living – such as indulging in a piece of dark chocolate or enjoying a brisk walk – also provide immediate gratification. This shared characteristic shows that both approaches acknowledge the importance of satisfying our innate desires.

healthier man living fulfilling life during outdoors tennis and avoiding indulgence

Both lifestyles aim to enhance one’s overall quality of life. Hedonism seeks to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, while healthy living strives to optimize physical and mental well-being. The underlying motivation is to experience life to its fullest potential.

Hedonism often involves being present in the moment to savor sensory pleasures. Similarly, engaging in mindful activities such as yoga or meditation as part of a healthy lifestyle encourages being fully present, fostering a deep connection between the mind and body.

On the other hand, you don’t have to look too far or wide to see modern examples of the perils of indulgence.

One example is the man who works hard to be a good financial provider for his spouse and children:

• Whether he is at home or at the office, the bulk of his mental and physical energy goes toward being powerful and capable in his profession.

• He’s often inclined to devote more energy to work than to having a lazy, relaxed hangout with his kids.

• He’s a good man – but also a stark reminder of the consequences of prioritizing work and financial success over health.

• To him, the buzz he gets from empire-building and being brilliant at work is an addictive high.

• Despite his potentially immense achievements at work, he tends to neglect health to pursue his ambitions. Irregular eating habits, stress-driven lifestyle, and avoidance of medical treatment for his health issues can harm his well-being.

Another example is the obesity epidemic and public health:

• Obesity has become a global concern over the past few decades and highlights the consequences of performing hedonistic pleasures without considering the long-term impact on health.

• The rise in sedentary lifestyles and excessive consumption of calorie-dense, unhealthy foods has led to widespread health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and various other chronic conditions.

These examples serve as reminders that embracing a lifestyle valuing healthier choices, mindfulness, and holistic well-being can lead to better outcomes in terms of health, longevity, and overall life satisfaction – especially when compared to the short-lived pleasures often associated with hedonism.

The Wise Choice: Opting for Healthier Living

While hedonism has its allure, healthy living emerges as the wiser choice for several compelling reasons.

Hedonistic pleasures offer immediate satisfaction, but they often fade quickly, leaving behind a longing for more.

Healthy living, on the other hand, provides a consistent, sustainable sense of well-being that endures over time.

The steady gratification derived from leading a balanced life contributes to lasting contentment.

Healthy living promotes physical fitness, mental clarity, emotional stability, and social connections. These interconnected facets create a comprehensive sense of holistic wellness, fostering a fulfilling life rich in meaningful experiences.

Developing healthy habits requires discipline, commitment, and self-awareness. These qualities cultivate resilience, enabling individuals to navigate life’s challenges with grace and adaptability.

In contrast, hedonistic pursuits might leave one ill-equipped to cope with adversity.

Prioritizing health reduces the risk of chronic diseases and enhances longevity. This proactive approach allows individuals to enjoy life’s pleasures for a more extended period instead of experiencing health-related limitations due to neglect.

Healthy living doesn’t advocate complete abstinence from pleasures. Instead, it encourages a balanced approach, allowing for occasional indulgences without compromising overall well-being.

This moderation ensures that pleasures are enjoyed without the negative consequences associated with excessive indulgence.

But the benefits don’t stop there.

Healthier choices provide a sort of accrued interest – compounded dividends – when compared to habitual indulgence:

Building Emotional Resilience: Delaying gratification requires self-control and the ability to tolerate discomfort in the short term. Managing impulse management cultivates emotional resilience, which is crucial for navigating life’s challenges. By learning to tolerate temporary discomfort, you develop a stronger capacity to handle stress, setbacks, and adversities, improving mental well-being.

Achieving Goals: Setting and achieving long-term goals is a fundamental source of personal satisfaction and self-esteem. You create a sense of purpose and accomplishment when you delay immediate pleasures in favor of working towards these goals. The fulfillment derived from achieving these milestones contributes significantly to overall happiness and life satisfaction.

Enhancing Self-Regulation: Delaying gratification involves exercising self-regulation, a key aspect of emotional intelligence. This ability to manage impulses and regulate emotions is associated with better relationships, improved decision-making, and a greater sense of self-mastery. These skills translate into improved mental health and more fulfilling interactions with others.

Conclusion on Choosing Healthier Living Over Habitual Indulgence

There are compelling reasons to delay gratification for the sake of greater health and happiness in the long term.

By cultivating emotional resilience, achieving meaningful goals, enhancing self-regulation, and aligning with your philosophical ideals, you foster your own well-being and contribute to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. This video explains:

Healthier living provides a sustainable sense of satisfaction and equips individuals with the tools to navigate life’s challenges and embrace its joys.

By fostering discipline, resilience, and overall wellness, the path of healthier living likely emerges as the wiser and more rewarding choice in the grand journey of your life.

Additional Resources on Living a Fulfilling Life and Delaying Gratification:

Eudaimonia, the Flourishing Life, and Philosophical Traditions such as Aristotelian Ethics – https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-ethics/

Utilitarianism and Maximizing Happiness – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

Existential Fulfillment – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7016537/

Personality Traits of Successful Humans – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201712/the-benefits-delaying-gratification