Doing what you want to do seems like such a simple concept. But ‘want’ often gets confused with ‘should’. Problems arise because, far too often, ‘should’ wins the ensuing battle of thoughts.
Picture yourself waking up to dappled sunlight, fresh morning air and a day free of plans, work or appointments. Yes! That’s until you go to the bathroom and fall over dirty laundry, then move onto the kitchen with a floor that needs sweeping and a sink piled with dishes. After you clean up, you look longingly out the window and see that, beneath the dappled sunlight, the lawn needs mowing.
You say to yourself, “If I get all of this done now, I should be able to relax this afternoon.”
That’s until your friend calls and asks if you can help them move house after lunch. So you do. When you finally get home, you’re exhausted, so you flop on the couch and watch whatever happens to be on TV. You fall asleep without even acknowledging that you’ve done nothing for yourself.
Hundreds of scenarios can be substituted for the above ‘shoulds’. In reality, the ‘shoulds’ do need to be completed, swept, helped and mowed. This isn’t about avoidance of the mundane. It’s about choosing to use time how you’d like to, rather than feeling guilty about it, thereby actually favouring the mundane.
Doing what you want to do actually makes life easier
Doing what you want to do is about following your initial desire. In the above scenario, this may have been:
The weather is gorgeous! I’m going to the beach!
Straight away, the loud clang of impending chores drowns the sweet rhythm of deliberately choosing to enjoy the day. The funny thing is, when you ignore the clang and jump on your inspiration then and there, you’ll find there’s always time to complete mundane tasks as well. That’s because the more joyful you feel, the more productive you become.
As with almost any topic, it’s all about intention. If your awareness and focus is, more often than not, placed on enjoying yourself and feeling at peace – rather than irritated and busy – your perception changes.
As in, the kitchen floor doesn’t look quite so detrimentally dirty. After a fun, joyful day, your increased energy and motivation makes the lawn a breeze to mow. You can even still help your friend move house, but after you’ve given yourself time for enjoyment.
To reverse the scenario, perhaps you really love getting stuck into the chores first, then relishing in the feeling of being totally free. This works just as well, as long as you commit to a deadline for getting them done, so you don’t miss out on doing what you really want to do.
If you feel guilty or unworthy of enjoyment, or if you’re trying to escape a problem, you might deliberately make yourself busy with small tasks by fooling yourself into thinking they’re critical. Meanwhile, what’s really critical is keeping an eye on the bigger picture, in terms of your overall wellbeing.
You may be thinking:
But I can’t say no to someone who asks me to do something for them.
But I can’t just leave the house in a mess.
But I can’t just do anything I want.
In reality though, yes, you most certainly can. There’s always a way, when you focus on finding one. The more you think, yes I can, the more you invite doing what you want to do, into your experience.
Remember that the earth will keep spinning, even in the midst of unfinished chores, work deadlines and endless requests to put the need’s of others before your own, even if you don’t always comply.
In fact, the earth will spin much more beautifully in time to the rhythm of your joy.