The Ambitious Mind versus the Perceived Reality
The alarm goes off at 5am. You are awakened from a state of deep sleep and rush over to the bathroom to turn off the sound. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who puts her alarm in the bathroom and not on the nightstand?) Then you stand there just stupefied, wondering why you got up again?
Dreams are still hovering about in your head, and if you went back to bed right now, you may just be able to follow along on where they were taking you. But you got up at this unGodly hour for a good reason – which you need to pause and remember … and then you do remember. You stand there, wondering why you made such a foolish decision without consulting your morning mood.
And then it comes, the onslaught of excuses. Like water gushing out of a fire hydrant, your mind fills with excuses faster than you can blink. The theme of these excuses is always the same: “I Don’t Feel Like It!”
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Here’s a snapshot of what goes on in my head when the 4:45am alarm goes off for an early yoga practice, which often includes a drive 30 minutes to the other side of town:
It’s too early. I am sleepy. I can do it later at home on my own. I need my sleep. I shouldn’t leave my husband alone. I am getting old for this. My body is not made for this. I am feeling stiff, what if I break a bone or injure myself? It’s raining. It’s cold. It’s still dark outside. I’m hungry. I doubt my body will even stretch today. Am I dizzy this morning? My period is coming – I’m on my period – my period just finished and I need to regain my strength. When the bloody hell is my period again?
All of which says one thing, “Oh God, I just don’t feel like it!” And I tell you my unfiltered thoughts so you would know that I struggle with this too, and we need to first be vulnerable enough to realize our problems before we can fix them.
Speaking of problems, here’s a big one:
I. Don’t. Feel. Like. It.
How many times have you said that to yourself?
More importantly: How many times have you listened? How many times did you let “I don’t feel like it” decide the course of your actions? How many times were you glad that you made such a decision?
The Universal Human Condition that Silently Kills Dreams
I Don’t Feel Like It is a feeling so universal, so well-known to the human condition that we even have a specific term for it in my mother tongue, Farsi.
It is common because we can ‘afford’ it especially in the modern age when we have choices, when we have options to take breaks, to sleep in, to take the evenings off, to not do something and still watch life go on as normal.
There is no need for a sense of urgency in today’s lifestyle.
You don’t have to run from tigers and hunt for your food, you are safe and clothed, you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, money to spend and a life that is grand, luxurious and out of this world amazing compared to any average life a century ago.
You have choices and that’s not always a good thing because you can resort to the path of least resistance, to the path of least effort and that would be the “I don’t feel like it” path.
It’s the excuse my husband gives me when I ask why he hasn’t done what we agreed he would do.
It’s the excuse your child gives you when you ask why he didn’t do his chores.
It’s the excuse your friends give you when you ask why they didn’t show up on your yoga class date.
It’s the excuse that we accept in return, one that we find completely natural because we can relate to it. We relate because it happens to us too.
We know too well about this pesky annoying mood that comes over us when we too don’t feel like it, it being anything that you know you want to do. Maybe it’s your writing, your running, your stretching, your clean green eating, your business work or anything else in between.
The feeling is not just a passing mood. If you show no resistance, if you go through your hours passively and go with the flow – which sounds like a good thing in most cases except this – it envelopes you in its mystic powers.
This feeling sucks the life force out of you. It distinguishes your inner peace, and gives you boredom and anxiety and stress in return.
It convinces you that it’s okay to let your projects slide, it’s okay to postpone the business building and stay in your miserable job, it’s okay to forget about your dreams and desires because you are too busy anyway, it’s okay – this pesky annoying feeling says to you – to let your workout slide, to let your yoga practice go, and to just take it easy and watch some more TV and live life as if you’ll live forever, as if time will never run out, as if the hourglass of your life will last for all eternity.
You Have Got to Learn to Trust Yourself.
The “I Don’t Feel Like It” emotion is one that can wreak havoc to your life, it can destroy your fragile dreams if you do not take steps to eradicate it.
So … are you ready to take back your time and your life? It starts with your intention to live life on your terms, not on random erratic terms that your moods dictate.
The first thing you have to understand is that while you may not control your emotions, you may actually control your reactions.
And you can develop your desired reactions to a particular situation with enough self-discipline and practice. Over time, with enough repetition, you will lean naturally towards the intentional reaction rather than those quick impulses.
Get Me Out of Here Now: No More “I Don’t Feel Like It”
Okay enough theory. Let’s get down to the practical steps. Next time you hear the “I Don’t Feel Like It” in your head, follow my quick get-me-out-of-here approach below:
1. Check your energy level: MOVE
If you are low on energy, MOVE. Try my 10 Minute Invigorator Program. Motivation starts with movement. So take an energizing walk around the block, go up and down the stairs, or do a few handstands (my go-to quick boost!).
2. Check your hydration level: HYDRATE
Are you thirsty? If you feel even slightly thirsty, you have waited too long to hydrate your body, and dehydration is the quickest way to lose focus, energy and attention span. Drink room-temperature filtered water.
3. Check your mental level: MEDITATE
Are you focused on a project or scattered? Are you aware of what you need to be doing right now? If not, take time to ground and re-group yourself. Check in with your priority – or goal – list. Whatever system you use – and I hope you have one or hit me up so we can develop one for you.
4. Check your emotional level: ACCEPT
Are you feeling particularly sad, angry, frustrated, unhappy or any particular negative emotions? It’s okay to feel that way so give yourself permission instead of denying the reality of your feelings. Then when you have identified the emotion, sit with it, take time to understand it.
One method that works for me and my clients is to meditate, to take 10 to 20 minutes and meditate on the feeling. Why am I feeling this way? How can I move through it and feel better? Trust in the meditation and let it do the work for you.
This is the quick 4-step process to get you out of that “I Don’t Feel Like It” mood and move you towards your next goal, next project, next task, whatever it may be, because you know what?
That hour-glass of your life is not stopping for you or for any of your moods, and if these moods are taking you further and further away from the desires of your heart, well, is it not worthy investigating and eradicating them so you – my darling – get back in charge of your life?