Recently, while looking for a different quotation I found this one from the Dhammapada:
371. Meditate, O monk! Do not be heedless. Let not your mind whirl on sensual pleasures. Heedless, do not swallow a red-hot iron ball, lest you cry when burning, “O this is painful!”
In a way, a lot of what we do is like this: doing things that are not good for us and then wondering why we are miserable later.
Another analogy I’ve seen used to describe this is honey on a blade. Sure the honey tastes very sweet, and is really good but why put yourself through the misery?
A certain manager I used to know once quipped that as a team of computer technicians in a complicated, large-scale environment where many things can potentially go wrong, our job is to avoid getting repeatedly pummeled by the same hammer. This is great advice and important for any technician, but really you could apply this to life as whole. Why do we allow ourselves to get pummeled by the same hammer over and over when we don’t have to?
Like that old quotation from the 1984 movie Dune states:
[Thufir Hawat]: “Now remember the first step in avoiding a trap, is knowing of its existence.”
Good advice to follow.