As I am experimenting with new habits, I noticed today that my experience of the exact same familiar task is very different if it occurs as a “want to” as a opposed to a “have to”. When I “want to” do something, I find a way & I am far more productive & waste less time. When I feel I ” have to” do something, I catch myself rationalizing & justifying & letting myself “reason” my way off the hook. What is interesting is that it can be the exact same task, like exercising.
So I played with this a bit today. I’d let some dishes pile up in the sink, from my recipe experiments, because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes that I hadn’t found time nor energy to put away. I caught myself avoiding the task & I know this path only worsens over time. So, I shifted the experience. I put on some great music & enjoyed putting the dishes away & even reorganized some cabinets. I enjoyed the warmth of the water over my hands & the smell of the lavender soap. I enjoyed the daydream time & the rather zen activity of cleaning. It was a very satisfying experience.
This little conversion from “Have To” to why I might “Want To” gives me choice. Choice = freedom. Freedom seems to have a lot to do with happiness. This exercise of choice seems like a key to happiness & lead me to another insight:
“In Order To’s”… if you hear yourself use those words, even to yourself, you are being slave-driven by something that robs you of your freedom. “In Order To” is the logic of “Have To”. All “In Order To’s” exist only in a world where you are not enough. If you feel you “have to” exercise “in order to” be attractive “in order to” have people like you, then you are living in the context that you are not already likeable enough just as you are. Not only does this leave you dis-empowered & feeling small, but it also requires willpower to continue to workout, since you don’t really want to work out… what you want is for people to like you. If your endeavor requires an expenditure of willpower, it is already a life-costing situation rather than a life-giving situation. Further, you are in jeopardy, because sometimes you are simply just short on willpower.
So if you convert exercising into an enjoyable experience; like : it feels great to stretch & feel the pump & feel strong & get amp’d up on fun & fast music & challenge yourself
Then the point of exercise is that it is fun & feels good with the added bonus of having you feel happier, more energetic & mentally clearer for the rest of your day. this has you enjoy your time. Your time is your life. Rather than costing you your time (life) & energy (life), this experience gives you vitality.
Choosing to enjoy the thing you need to do, for the sheer joy of doing it, requires no will power, as enjoying it is its own reward.