Ever have one of those days when you’re just sick of it all? Not because you’re stressed but because suddenly nothing seems appealing?
Chances are, the fall into such a day was not sudden.Will power is like a muscle as I have mentioned elsewhere and it does get tired. Maybe you’re getting sick and you don’t know it yet. The seasons might be changing. There could be any number of reasons you don’t want to do what is important, what you set out to do and have every intention of getting done.
But getting started. Ugh. Therein lies the rub.
I’m beginning to find out that there is an aspect of my will that is hugely emotional. My mind can go down an incredible array of excuses, emotions and otherwise, escapes, that will convince me not to pursue and get done what I have named as the one thing I need to do to consider the day a success. And it usually starts with just getting started.
Once I get started, the momentum carries me through but the herculean effort to just get going is where I like leave off, too. So what to do?
I have learned to battle emotion with emotion. People talk about how you should picture the “What’s the worst that could happen?” game. That’s not a favorite of mine. Somehow it always ends with, “Well, someone could break in to my house, I wouldn’t be able to get to 911 in time and I could be murdered and my children left alone by themselves screaming.” Yeah. Too vivid. Too unnecessary. I agree.
So I play the “What if?” game. “I know,” I tell myself, “You don’t want to do this. But what if the day goes by and you haven’t done it at all? How horrible will you feel then?” And it works. Every single time. I get going.
Now, why is that? Why does it work?
I think the reason is this: I am driven more by avoiding pain than pursing pleasure. The motivation to do something fun later does not drive me as much as the inclination to avoid feeling bad. What kind of a person are you? What drives you the most? Seeking good things or avoiding bad? Both exist in all of us to a certain degree, but which one ranks higher in your life?
Think about it and plan your day around that. Sometimes it’s the only piece of information you need to get going.