Is it worth it?
Make good bargains.
Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs.
Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run – getting out in fresh air, improving health, etc. – are, for me at least, worth the costs of losing half an hour of work time while gaining a pair of achy legs. Similarly, it could well be that: getting a raise is worth the awkwardness of asking for one; teaching a child good lessons is worth the stress of correcting her; and deepening intimacy is worth the vulnerability of saying “I love you.”
But other times, the benefits are not worth the costs. For example, it might feel good to yell at someone who makes you mad – but at a big price, including making you look bad and triggering others to act even worse. There are indeed rewards in that third beer or third cookie – but also significant costs, including how you’ll feel about yourself the next day.
We make a thousand choices a day, each one a bargain in which the brain weighs expected benefits against expected costs. Therefore, it’s important to make good bargains, good choices, in which the real benefits are greater than the real costs.
Unfortunately, your brain lies to you all day long. (And to me and to everyone else.)