The “promise” of any pleasure to come is really nothing more or less than the memory of a pleasing sensation imagined as just being ahead of you; in truth, it is projected there — onto the screen of the mind — from somewhere out of your past. The power of these wants, and the passion of their pursuit, is all due to the presence of a kind of psychological “special effect” — a highly attractive state that feels real because of the very desirable sensations that always attend its appearance.
If you wish to see through this trick of the false self, and save yourself a considerable amount of useless suffering, here’s a new action to take each time you catch yourself being drawn to jump down the rabbit hole of some familiar desire:
Before you “buy” the ticket (to the promised Wonderland)… do the best you can to remember how that exact same “sensational” mental movie ended last time. Consciously recall, as vividly as you can, the real cost of sitting through a rerun that you’ve not only seen a hundred times, but one that almost never has a happy ending!