Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things Left Over, Responsible Things, & Promises to Myself

Everyday I wake up and go over in my head all the things I want to do during the day. This list always consists of:
1. Things left over from the previous day.
2. Responsible things like doing the dished, cleaning, exercising and such.
3. Things I've been wanting to do for a while but can't seem to find the time to do like draw something or work on a craft.
4. Things I promise myself I'll do everyday but never do like stay away from sweets or relax on my hammock.

This little routine is very exhausting. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed I'm painfully aware of everything I'm not getting done each and every day. And these are things I actually want to accomplish. They are things I daydream about when I'm doing less enjoyable tasks like trying to figure out why a website isn't working right or driving a really long stretch of highway.

They are things that when I do finally get around to doing them I feel content and I feel like myself.

In my last post I wrote about self interest and how it shouldn't be as bad as we tend to think. Self interest is what makes our lives work for us It's what keep us alive and healthy and happy. Self interest is also what motivates us to quit a dead-end job in order to pursue our dream of opening a bakery.

So why doesn't self interest come to the rescue on days when I have a list of things I'd really want to do but never can seem to get done? Self help gurus would probably explain to me that I'm fearful of success or that I don't believe in myself. They would proceed to sell me their bright, shiney self help program designed to tackle my fears or a give me a mantra I repeat to myself every morning that's guaranteed to convince me that, "I can do it!"

I say, "Puh-Lease!"

Their conclusions might be correct but is the answer really to sit in front of a mirror willing my brain to do things? Aside from the fact that bad habits plays a big role in why we don't accomplish the things we want (and we all know how hard it is to break our nasty habits) we need to accept the fact that any change we make is not going to be easy. And isn't that what self help gurus are really trying to sell us: A quick fix.

Why do so many people try to over-complicate self improvement?
If you are like me and wake up in the morning wishing you were a published writer or that you speak French or you simply want to eat healthier then stop wasting time talking to yourself in the mirror and just take the first step already. You don't have to put labels on parts of your life. You don't have to follow someone else's 10 step program. Write your own 10 step program and make sure every step is an actual step toward your goals.

In Conclusion
Self help gurus and other experts make it seem like life is more complicated than it really is. And life is dreadfully complicated.

I do need to take my own advice, though. It's really hard to figure out what you want and to hold on to that quite, fragile notion all day, everyday is even harder. You don't have to practice for a better life. You can take actual, real steps right now. And each time you take action by learning a new skill or just getting off the coach you are already living your goal.

No comments:

Post a Comment