Last week I began a series based on an article that was shared on Facebook titled, “10 Things That The People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently,” by Paul Hudson, originally posted on elitedaily.com.
This article intrigued me because I do consider myself to be someone who loves my life. However, I found several items on this list that I’m not doing very well. So, I thought I’d take each “philosophy” listed and do a bit of “virtual” self-analyzing. I’ll post one item weekly.
After all, there’s always room to love my life a little more.
Here’s the second thing people who love their lives do differently:
I was surprised at how quickly this loving-life philosophy brought to mind a memory from my childhood.
Admittedly, as a young girl, I did not like to do my chores, especially cleaning the kitchen. Being the oldest of five, you might imagine keeping the sink cleared of dishes was a never-ending task. But I also knew I couldn’t go out to play until my chores were finished.
One day, (I can’t remember–or even imagine–why!) I decided to surprise my mom and clean the kitchen until it sparkled–without her having to ask. Imagining the look of surprised pleasure on her face, I actually smiled as I loaded the dishwasher.
Then came the words that spoiled it all.
“Jan,” my mom called from her bedroom, “would you please unload the dishwasher?”
My enthusiasm deflated faster than a balloon just pricked with a very sharp pin.
What? Who wants to clean the kitchen now that Mom asked me to do it?
It was the first time I consciously remember understanding the difference between doing something because I wanted to do it, as opposed to doing something because I had to do it, and I’ve seen other instances since then:
- Taking Art Appreciation in college because it was a requirement of my degree vs. Desiring to take Art Appreciation today because I truly appreciate art.
- Going to church because my parents told me I had to go vs. Attending church because I’m interested in the sermon.
- I’ll admit that this philosophy affects my writing life. There are times I feel like I have to write — that it’s expected of me. When I feel that it’s expected of me, I feel a clear difference in my desire to write. I call the resulting lack of writing being passively aggressive with myself, or at least with the mystery source that I perceive is telling me I have to write.
As with the first item on this list, there’s plenty of room for me to improve. But I’m moving in the right direction–because I want to.
Where do you fall on the scale of “want to” vs. “have to?”