The Exciting and Unsexy Adventures of Everyday Life
What was it like for you the last time you did your dishes?
Wait, wait, wait! Stay with me for a second before you click on the fat X with the vow to never ever revisit my Medium site again.
I know, I know… This question is not sexy. I admit it and I guess you’d propably prefer to ponder about your life’s purpose meanwhile or make up your mind whether you truly want go on that date with this person you met on Tinder and that you are still unsure about. In fact there are a million better things you could do right now than to think about the last time you had to do the housekeeping activity you like the least…because the day has just 24 hours, right? Ain’t nobody got time for that question anyway…
But bear with me. Isn’t it the bitter truth that we spend more time in our everyday lives on mundane activities like bringing our kids to school, cleaning up our homes or paying the freaking taxes than we’d like to admit? Come on… you know what I am talking about. The things that need to get done or otherwise our partner complains about them. (Which we do get done by the way, but we don’t feel very excited about them)
So today my question for you is the following: How do you feel about these tasks?
And in particular: What is your attitude about them? Do you secretly hate doing them? Or do you usually get the job done like an Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator? If you are like me and like most people I know, you do them, but most often you don’t have a particular awesome time while you are doing them. We as adults tend to see these activities as WORK and act accordingly. But we often forget that we were once little children and children do not know the concept of work till they enter the school system. Before that glorious event all children know is PLAYING GAMES. They play games all day long. Everything to them is one giant GAME. And here is the thing: We have the choice to see tasks as WORK or as a GAME.* Yes, even the mundane tasks... Yes, especially the mundane tasks!
Do you remember the good old times when you were young and you walked your way to school? What did you propably do someday? You played the lava game, where it was forbidden to touch certain areas of the sidewalk with your feet. Or you tracked the time how long it took you to get to school. Or maybe you even played with your siblings “ I spy with my little eye…”, when your mom or dad drove you to school. Back then it was really easy for you to invent new, funny games or you tested something in an exciting experiment. I even remember a PE teacher of mine, who always ran ahead of us and shouted “I am an A. I am an A.” when we were doing cardio in school and you’d better kept up with him, if you wanted a good school grade.
Interestingly this kind of behaviour to see activities as games, as adventures, as experiments or as challenges faded over time, didn’t it? We grew up and we learned how to behave like adults and that the adult life was hard. Serious. Boring.
But the thing is: It does not have to be that way.
I know it is cliché, but don’t we always have a choice how to see activities and choose our attitudes about them? So why don’t we always choose the easiest and most fun way?
And you know what? I am sure you do these kind of things already. Like singing a song while you iron your shirts or challenging your kids to spot more beautiful things on your way to school than you can.There are dishes to do? Alright…I bet you can do them before your two favorite songs are over.
I invite you to see this post just as as simple reminder that you always, always, always have the option - the concious choice - in any moment to choose how you perceive these tasks.
Work or Play? It is your choice how you do these things. Just like you have the power and a 100 % responsability for your attitude and mindset about them. It is within your control to view making your bed perfectly in the morning as a powerful ritual symbolising excellence and as a fresh new start in a new day packed with new opportunities. Or you could see it as an unnecessary, dreading task. It is your choice.
And yes of course we fall and slip and curse and get angry about these kind of things. It is natural. Of course we forget from time to time about the fact that we have this choice. But this is also part of the game and what makes it so exciting. The game is to play more. So it is up to you: Do you want to play more often?
- I was introduced to the idea of seeing tasks as either WORK vs PLAY by Steve Chandler in his book “Crazy Good”