I have set up a new lock screen on my phone. It asks me a question every time I turn the phone on. “Are you doing what you want to be doing?” And here’s the thing. I have to answer the question.
There are of course many answers to the question. First, I could be doing something I adore (writing, reading for someone, petting a cat, putting my toes in the ocean, making music, spending time with loved ones, traveling, etc.), so of course, I am doing what I want to be doing.
Next, I could be doing something I “have” to be doing or “need” to be doing. That might also be something fabulous (like washing my hair, which I need to do every day, or else, but which also gives me great pleasure).
I could also be doing something I dislike. This morning, I wasn’t the Earth Lady. I was the Poop Lady. Between Pyro’s health issues that result in poop wherever he happens to be standing when the need overtakes him, scooping the general litter box contents, and picking up after Hatha, I spent more than I truly wanted to on poop patrol.
And then of course, comes the more serious stuff I dislike like accounting, filing, business admin stuff. That stuff challenges me like crazy. I struggle with it, and I taking steps to improve on it with software, books, articles, and other guidance.
But, I still keep coming back to, am I doing what I want to be doing? I could have asked the question differently. I could have asked, “Do you want to be doing what you are doing?” Perhaps, that might have made what I am about to write easier for me to swallow. What I am talking about here is the first part more than the second part. Because, if I don’t want to be doing what I am doing, why the heck am I doing it? Because I have to? Partly. But also because some of the stuff that I have to do is because of habit. If I take all the stuff I have to do or need to do and transform it into stuff I want to do or get to do, how does it change? How does my life change?
What I’m talking about here is a modification of my perspective. Can I switch all the need to and have to into want to and get to?
When I am scooping poop, I am taking care of my critters. I am ensuring they have their needs met and that my house doesn’t become a sty. I can also incorporate my love for them into the action? How would that change it?
When I am doing accounting or sending out contracts, I am ensuring that I get to be compensated to keep doing work I love and work I feel is important (reading for people, teaching kids how to save the Earth, or helping people be more creative, or exposing them to cool music, etc.). So, don’t I owe to myself to take care of those other parts of that business so that I can keep doing what I want and love to be doing? Doesn’t that change things? (I have done it with exercise. In my late teens, I hated it. I didn’t want any part of it. In my 20s, I did it because I had to. In my 30s, it began to transform because certain forms of exercise were necessary to manage my hypothyroidism. Nowadays, I do it because I adore it. I work on the standing bag. I do Zumba. I dance. I practice yoga or Tai Chi, and I swim. I love using my body and have a great time with it. The best part? I always always feel better afterward. Working out has become like brushing my teeth. It is part of my daily activities, and it is one I enjoy, like crazy.)
So that brings me back to the question. Am I doing what I want to be doing? Or rather, do I want to be doing what I am doing? Implied in the question is, “And if not, why not?” And more to the point, can I change my perspective? And even further, can I do it right now so that the very act of doing something I don’t want to do transforms in front of my eyes into something fabulous.
Yes! I get so scoop poops. Yes! I get to do accounting. Yes! The two are equivalent in my mind because of my resistance to doing them (no offense to the accountants and bookkeepers I know; it’s not you, it’s me).
So, I release my resistance, I start getting to live my life from a place of acceptance rather than resistance. And that is a much better locale for me.