How to Want to Work

Your body actually likes to work: it likes to move and do things, to climb and run and swim and discover things. So, from your body’s point of view, any kind of movement is good as far as it is concerned: walking, dancing, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, picking up litter, shoving trash around or digging holes to plant trees into: from your body’s point of view these are all good ideas.

It doesn’t care that much what you think about what you’re doing, that is, unless you resent what you are doing or are angry about it or you’re feeling punished: then the body pays attention, because it knows these emotions are like poison to it. Resentment makes your jaw clench (which has nothing to do with raking leaves) or your face frown (which has nothing to do with the care you need to take when you’re picking up the mess in your room) or your stomach getting itself into knots because you’re having to work and your sibling isn’t. And it’s the same with all the other angry emotions.

So, that’s all very well, but of course there are times when you will feel angry at having to do something or, perhaps, you will feel nervous or anxious or afraid… None of these emotions help, but what do you do?

You think through what you are doing and why you are doing it. Not everything that happens to you is because you’re being punished: in fact, there are times when you are asked to do something because you are the only one that can do it: so this makes you special! When you do a good job, people ask you to do the work again because they can trust you: this makes you special?

So work on thinking of new ways of seeing your chores. You have to plunge the toilet? Free exercise! You have to pick up your room? Scavenger hunt! You have to rake the leaves? More exercise, beautiful leaves and you can show off for the whole neighborhood.

to be continued… 

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