Why Doing The Dishes Will Make You More Appreciative

Daily Stretch #20: turn chores into a meditation.

Gustavo Razzetti
Aug 11, 2017 · 7 min read
Our appreciation towards things is what makes them valuable. Or not. Pic by Anton Darius

“Work is love made visible. The goal is not to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” — Kahlil Gibran

No time to read? Listen to this post instead.

How we do anything means everything

“Wax on, wax off.” — Mr. Miyagi

The movie Karate Kid contributed to one of the most viral memes on chores. If you haven’t heard about Mr. Miyagi’s “wax on” training method, no worries. Check this video.

Today’s daily stretch: turn chores into a meditation

“Before enlightenment, carry water and chop wood. After enlightenment, carry water and chop wood.” — Buddhist saying

Chores can be a burden. Or a way to build your foundation.

Chores nurture our patience.

Daniel didn’t just learn Karate moves.

Chores help us fight laziness.

The brain is a lazy muscle.

Chores help us recover the pride and joy of doing.

I love cooking. People get impressed by the looks of the dishes I prepare. What they don’t realize is all the small chores required to get there.

Chores help us build resilience.

Daniel had to wax a car multiple times until he learned how to do it well and fast.

Chores are a form of meditation.

“We never noticed the beauty because we were too busy trying to create it.”

Most of us think that meditating is about sitting with our legs crossed and breathing slower and slower.

Two exercises to turn chores into a meditation

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” — Buddha

1. A Warm Up

Here’s a simple trick that you can use to reframe how you talk about chores.

2. Turn doing chores into a meditation

This exercise requires practice to change a behavior. Its purpose to help become more appreciative of small tasks.

  • Mise-en-place is a French term that means “set in place”. It’s one of the first things that is taught to aspiring chefs. It’s much more than having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
  • Mise-en-place is not just about saving time. It’s a celebration — by setting up the scenario — before starting an activity.
  • Focus on the activity. If you are going to do the dishes or clean the kitchen that should become your only priority.
  • Start by taking a couple of deep breaths. Focus your energy on the activity. You want to do it. And to enjoy it.
  • Focus on the chore. Capture every detail of what you do. How can you improve the outcome? How can you make it feel less repetitive? Try new ways of doing the chore.
  • If you feel distracted, try to re-focus on the chore. You are not just doing something. You want to become the best at doing the dishes or chopping the onions.
  • Once you are done, clean the space (if needed). Wrapping up the scene with care increases appreciation.
  • Take a second to appreciate your “art.”
  • Repeat and monitor your improvement. You are on a journey to master a chore. Compare how it feels when you appreciate chores versus approaching the same task as a burden.

Improve Your Change Fitness

Download a free copy of my guide “7 Ways to Improve Change Fitness.”

Liberating Change

We help teams and people drive positive change by…

Gustavo Razzetti

Written by

I help teams and organizations build fearless cultures. Creator of the Culture Design Canvas. Insights → bit.ly/ChangeInsights

Liberating Change

We help teams and people drive positive change by liberating the best version of themselves. Insights on #leadership #selfimprovement #teambuilding #innovation #orgculture. https://liberationist.org

Gustavo Razzetti

Written by

I help teams and organizations build fearless cultures. Creator of the Culture Design Canvas. Insights → bit.ly/ChangeInsights

Liberating Change

We help teams and people drive positive change by liberating the best version of themselves. Insights on #leadership #selfimprovement #teambuilding #innovation #orgculture. https://liberationist.org

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