July 06, 2009

Motivation: Take a Different Perspective

I don't know about you but I have a terrible time motivating myself to do things I consider unpleasant. I didn't learn much self-discipline as a child and haven't learned much as an adult, either! A broad category of "unpleasant" for me is - housework. Ugh. I'd almost rather take a beating than wash dishes or do the myriad other chores necessary to have a clean and neat home.

Recently, though, I learned a new way of looking at unpleasant tasks. For example, I used to say to myself "I have to wash the dishes" which was immediately followed by "I don't *want* to wash the damned dishes, it's boring!". Now I say "I want to wash the dishes because I'll enjoy having a clean kitchen and I'll be proud of myself for doing it." This doesn't always work because the underlying fact is still that I hate to wash dishes. But I know if I keep applying this mental technique to all my housework chores I'll eventually have a neat and clean house without so much struggle. I really want to have a neat and clean house. My friends want me to have a clean and neat house, too, so they don't start sneezing every time they come over. (We have 5 cats and 2 dogs in the house.) My friends would also like to enjoy my delicious cooking without fear, too.

The beauty of this concept is that it can be applied to so many things in our lives. It makes for a more positive attitude, which is one of the components of happiness. It seems such a simplistic thing, to take a different perspective on life. But it can be difficult because old habits die hard. Keep at it, though, and it can change your life.

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