Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb 21: Grow Up, a.k.a... Do things even if you don't want to.

This morning I wanted so badly to stay in bed that the second I hit snooze on the alarm my mind started working.  Well, if I stayed home I could do this.... I'll tell him this.... he won't be mad for too long... I do need to do this... because... Ever notice how easy it is to talk yourself out of something you don't want to do anyway?  I am especially bad about this.  For years now I have worn my "free spirit" like a badge of honor.  I respect people who dedicate their time to something they don't necessarily enjoy simply because it is the responsible thing to do, but I always consider myself an exception to that concept.  I tell myself that I was not meant for such a life, that I have amazing potential and will somehow never realize it if I allow myself to be "captured" by something ordinary.  And even though I don't want to lose the desire to reach for an extraordinary life, there is certainly something to be said for sucking it up and dedicating yourself to work (no matter how boring or difficult it may be.)  Without fail, every thing that has been difficult for me to make myself do has turned out to be so much more rewarding than I thought it would be.  In fact, one might even say that the difficulty of doing a task is in direct proportion to the satisfaction following its completion.  Doing things we don't want to do is part of living a purposeful life. It goes from little things like taking out the trash, to big things like getting up early every day for years to work at a thankless job to support your family.  So in an effort to do the things I don't want to do I researched How To's online and found some great advice from Henrik Edberg, author of  He recommends 1.) accept it (acknowledging your feelings and knowing exactly what you are trying to avoid is a big part of the battle) 2.) list the positives (what opportunities/benefits will come from doing this thing?)  3.) just do it (if you think about it too much, you'll end up right back where you started.)  This man is a genius.  Any time I've made myself do something, I've used some form of this advice.  Except when I am only doing it to avoid something negative- that is a bad way to start a yucky task and probably won't bring the same satisfaction once it's complete.  In conclusion- some things in life are just not enjoyable.  But we have to roll like Maria, and climb every mountain in front of us, until we reach the glorious top.  The trick is to try to enjoy the climb along the way.  Mix things up with little enjoyable moments, like music or chocolate, and even the tallest mountain seems a little more pretty.

     Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain 

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