One of my favorite ideas (one that I have had on the front of this blog for a while now) is that “you are not what you do, you are how you do it.”
How you act determines who you are. Seems pretty simple.
One problem though is that we all have to do stuff we don’t like doing at times when we do not want to do them, or we have stuff that we do want to do but don’t know how to get started.
This makes it hard to act like you want to act. You procrastinate. You sulk. You get grumpy. You doubt yourself. You become that person you don’t want to be.
And of course when I say “you” I really mean me.
I suck at acting the way I want to act.
One way I break this cycle is by first becoming more interested in the things I don’t want to do or am putting off starting.
“The most important step in becoming successful in anything is to first become interested in it.”Sir William Osler
It could be things as dull as washing the dishes (come up with a new system for stacking! listen to a new album while you do it!) or paying bills (see what new options are out there for your electricity plan! set up that new budget tracking app at the same time!). You have control over how interesting what you do is by the way you approach it.
But what’s even better than being interested? Being enthusiastic!!!!
“Our most productive state is when we are enthusiastic. This combines being proactive with a real sense of purpose. Enthusiasm is infectious in a good way. At the time of writing, a Google search for synonyms of enthusiasm returns some of the following results: eagerness, keenness, ardour, fervour, warmth, passion, zeal, zest, vivacity, energy, verve, vigour, dynamism, fire and spirit. Enthusiasm is a wonderful trait. You can feel it. We find enthusiasm at the intersection of energy and purpose.” (Laurence Endersen, Pebbles of Perception)
Being interested in something can be enough to get started but are you going to rock it? If you’re not enthusiastic about it, probably not.
Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points. – 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice
Why are most people successful at riding a bike? It is interesting by nature (bikes are kind of crazy cool machines) and it’s hard not to be enthusiastic while riding them because it’s just plain fun. This is infectious and makes others want to ride.
Become interested in everything you do and you might find it hard not to be enthusiastic in the same way.
“The Greeks called it enthousiasmos, the root of “enthusiasm,” which means literally “filled with theos,” or God, or Quality. See how that fits?” (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
The Greeks were onto something.