We've all been brainwashed! We were all taught the work ethic! "Work (and suffer) till you die, or if you're lucky retire. We don't have time to waste on frivolities. We have responsibilities to fulfill. We have to be serious, work hard, rise in our career, make lots of money, and make earning money and advancing in our career a priority."
I choose to change that programming in my life. I know that when I do the things I enjoy doing, things work out better for me. I know that when I do something against my will, against my heart, it doesn't work out well. I know that stressing myself out to try to get a job done usually takes twice as long as taking time out and doing that same task at some other time in a relaxed manner.
We can change the criteria by which we decide what to do in our lives. Instead of: "Will it bring in lots of money or advance my career," we need to ask ourselves, "Will I enjoy doing this? Will this be fun? Am I looking forward to getting started on this?"
If you can't answer "yes" to these questions, then quite possibly this is not the task for you! If it is something that must be done, i.e. taxes, dishes, etc., the solution may be either to change your attitude or to find someone else to do these tasks for you.
There are some people who will enjoy and love to do what you prefer not to do. Really! For example, I am not the world's best housekeeper. I do not really enjoy cleaning, washing floors, windows, etc. Yet there are some people who enjoy the meditative aspect of this work and who really get satisfaction from a job well done. (Though I must admit that when I am fully immersed in the task, I also do enjoy the meditative aspect and get satisfaction from doing the job well.) But at times, it is to my benefit to pay someone to do this work and I can then take that time to earn money doing things that I enjoy.
We are all very different and different things appeal to each one of us. Just because someone else enjoys a particular thing does not mean that you must. We can trust what I call the "fun index" to assist us in knowing if a particular action is the one for us.
We can break away from the rule of thumb that judges things by whether they bring money or career advancement. We can change that to making our decisions based on whether an action will bring us pleasure and personal satisfaction. Does the work you do leave you feeling proud and pleased with yourself? Are you following the voice of "shoulds" or the one of "want to"?
Yet, the programming is strong. I find myself struggling over a task and it ends up dragging itself out. Have you noticed that the things that you dislike doing are the ones that seem to take forever to get done? As for the opposite viewpoint, well as the saying goes "Time flies when you're having fun!"
Learning to drop the old programming and trusting the "fun index" is an ongoing project. Every small step is, at the same time, a big leap. Each step will move you away from dissatisfaction with your life and closer to self-love, self-acceptance, self-esteem and joy in your everyday existence.
Anytime you ignore that inner prompting, you accumulate self-loathing and disappointment in your being. Your inner child once again feels let down and unimportant. Each let-down reinforces the inner child's belief that everybody else's wishes are more important than its own. Once again its desires are relegated to the lowest priority on the list.
Yet, it is YOUR life! Why let someone else dictate how you "should" live it? Ask your Self what steps YOU want to take! Listen to the voice within which will tell you what would really make you feel fulfilled and satisfied. You ARE the boss of your life! After all... it's yours isn't it?
Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less
by Marc Lesser.
For more info or to order this book, click here.
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
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