Have to and want to, many things in life fall into these two categories. I want to go for a bike ride but I have to do the dishes. I want to take the dog on an adventure but I have to clean the house. These two phrases rarely join onto a mutual path, seeming to be running parallel to each other in perpetuity.
With each passing thought though, why do the things we have to do always feel like the biggest burden. Many people will wash their car happily, yet despise washing the dishes – a monumentally easier task. Some of my friends love cooking, yet I’ve never met anyone who loves cleaning the stove afterwards. Is this all a mentality thing? Is the key to life purely mentality?
I suppose in a simplistic way – yes. Some things will always be hard, and some things will never be fun. Having a good mentality about the subject will make those tasks more bearable at least, if not easier as well.
I thought of this the other day, the art of pride in every task, it came from my “Ritual” post a few days ago, waking up was hard; until I took pride in my mornings. That made it a little easier. So I’ve tried it in a few more ways. I try and look at the end product rather than the task at hand. Rather than seeing a sink full of dishes, I visualise an empty sink to give me the motivation to invest that 20 or 30 minutes into the washing. When the house needs cleaning rather than looking at the mess that may have accumulated over a week of living and working, I think about how much more peace I feel looking at clean work surfaces and cabinets. The task may be boring, but the end product is always enjoyable.
Every task you do can bear fruit of positive sensations upon completion. Focussing on the completion rather than the task helps to alleviate the sense of dread and replace it with a drive to complete the task at hand.
Your greatest achievements needn’t be a pay rise, completing a novel, running further than yesterday. Sometimes a great achievement can be taking part in an activity with your whole self, without ever having to think “I must to do the dishes when I get home”.
Treat every task as an achievement and allow completion to be an allocated part of your day, see how your day and mind changes through the process.
After all, it’s always easier to complete a task before you add more on top of it.