Today I encounter a familiar expression after asking a child to do something.
“I don’t want to.”
I say, “Of course you don’t.”
Long silence. Incredulous blinking.
I start explaining that most of the day, if you really think about it, surely involves what we don’t want to do. We have homework and packing lunches. We have making the beds, setting the table, and picking up toys. We have taking a bath, combing out hair, and brushing teeth. If we waited until we wanted to, nothing would ever happen. Wanting to is not the signal we’re waiting for.
“We don’t factor in whether or not we want to do a thing. It’s not an important variable.”
“If you stop asking yourself whether or not you want to do a thing–and just do it because it’s right and good and part of the day–you find a certain freedom”
Deep breath. OK.
There’s something to be said for completing tasks and forgoing your feelings about it. Eventually, the emotions know they’re not in charge, and they behave.
Did you complete your “I Don’t Want to Do This List”?