Have you noticed that doing something because you have to or because you should is a lot harder than doing something because you want to? It is a fact of life that we will sometimes have to do things that we don’t want to do, but endless days of thinking with that mentality (“I don’t want to be here”, “I hate this”, “I can’t believe I’m stuck doing this”) will lead to burnout.
Take exercise as an example: one of the common reasons why people don’t regularly exercise is because they haven’t found something that they like to do. When it feels like a chore and something you have to get through, it’s just not very enjoyable – it becomes a duty. But if you can find something that you really enjoy (some people like being a part of a running group, some like playing road hockey, some like walking or biking to work), it becomes something you do for fun, not because you feel like you have to. Trevor Linden has said that he continues to work out every day (it might be at the gym or doing something outside like going for a hike, bike ride, or cross-country skiing) not necessarily for his physical health (though that is an added bonus), but for his mental health – a morning workout sets him up for a good day. When you can turn something from being a chore into something that you do for a purpose you care about, it will energize you.
Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14
Game Plan: The best way to motivate yourself and do something more out of love than duty is to get clear on your “why”. You might feel tired, beaten up, mentally (or physically) exhausted… remembering why you’re doing it is the biggest push you can give yourself to keep going and not give up. Even in the daily grind of life, examine the reason why you get up and go to work, why you pay your bills, why you clean your house. Those things may not seem fun sometimes, but you do them for a reason. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of what that reason is and why it matters to us.
Photo: Leafs camp, 1928
Quote source: Mother Teresa