Have you already experienced that some tasks become, after a while, an obligation, although you started them with pleasure? How does it happen that you can start something full-hearted and end up being stressed and annoyed?
Let’s draw an imaginary line where “obligations and duties” are at one end and “pleasures and accomplishments“ to the other end. Our perception moves along this line: when it approaches the “obligations and duties” side, very often repetitions are spoiling our experience.
When something is repetitive, we tend to pay less and less attention to it: we know already what we have to do and how the situation is. It is not anymore new, or inspiring or fresh. Our brain takes then shortcuts and moves from “this is what I want to do” to “this is what I have to do”.
“This is what I want to do” is connected with the “pleasure and accomplishments” side of the line. That gives us joy, motivation, challenging. We can experience the pleasure of learning a new subject or getting to know new people. Or we can experience the importance of taking care of oneself, another person, an animal or also a project. Here, the motivation is at the center of the action.
“This is what I have to do” is much more factual, dry and detached. It allows us to function without asking questions or needing our motivation to be involved. Here it is the duty that is at the center of the action.
How to maintain our attention in movement on this imaginary line and not to have it stuck on the “duties” side?
The First step is to pay attention on keeping your body open, oxygenated and relaxed.
Take care of your breathing and of your movement. Train your body enough every day, to have enough energy circulating and to maintain your muscles flexible.
The Second step is to clarify regularly your intention.
In fact, our intention changes with the time: you can start an activity by wishing to learn something new and end up continuing because of the social connections. Or you can decide to go to the gym because you want to lose weight and to continue because you just love the sensations you experience after the physical effort. Or you are willing to change your job and then you decide to stay because of the financial security.
If you find difficult to keep your attention on the „pleasure“ side of the line you can train your attention with one of these 3 tricks to introduce some little changes in the daily routine:
- Change your itinerary to your work: take another street, leave the tram or the bus a stop earlier, ask a colleague for a lift;
- Use your lunch pause to move your body: take a walk or a run or a swim. Disconnect from your computer and smartphone.
- Change the layout of your bureau: move material, change pictures, add some green plants.
Contact me if you need support in nourishing your motivation and not being taken by obligations!
In my next article, we will explore how language can bring us to the “duties” side of the line 🙂
Picture taken from Internet