I can't understand, standing on this side of childhood, why a kid would want things that cause them pain. Our 3-year-old has started telling me "but I WANT to be ouchie!" when I tell he something is hot...or "I WANT a sunburn" when I tell her we have to come in from the pool. Today we were driving down the street and she told me to go faster. I explained that we have to follow the rules or else we will get hurt. She very quickly said "But I want to go faster and I WANT to get hurt."
Making bad choices in life is like saying "I WANT to be hurt." Poor eating and sleeping habits, smoking, over spending, all have consequences. They may not all be immediate or obvious right away - but every choice yields a result. And every bad choice will get you in the end.
Good choices are even harder though. Eat right, exercise, do your best to loose those pounds and only see a 1 pound loss on the scale at a time. All those good choices don't add up real fast. Hard to keep making good choices when you don't see instant results.
That's when it's time to stop thinking like a child. A 3 year old can only see the very instant of her life. The "right now" of her desires. She doesn't consider how painful a sunburn is or how costly an auto collision can be. It's up to us, as adults, to consider her future and put down rules.
That is why there are rules for living. Not to suck all the fun out of life, but to protect us from the total of our choices. God tells us not to lie so we won't be seen as a liar, not to steal so we won't be distrusted and written off a thief, not to commit adultery so we do not bear those emotional scars. Of course these things also hurt others, so in these instructions are protections for others as well.
I digress. I can't think of a good way to wrap this up other than to say that I'm glad I finally found some rules. When I lived by the "if it feels good, do it" mantra, I had nothing but trouble as a result from my total choices.