Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

I Want to Want To

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Taking inspiration and life lessons from a romantic comedy may not be a winning strategy, but I did. I don’t really like to admit it, so instead I’ll just go into the lesson.

It’s very easy to do the things we want to do. It’s slightly harder to do the things we must do. There is a whole category of things we should do, and these are very difficult.

The shoulds could also be called “Top Failed New Years Resolutions”. Universally accepted good things that don’t get done. But I want to do them! Well, maybe I don’t.

I want to want to do them.

That is a direct psychological shift to my behavior, though. It isn’t getting more done, being more productive or even building productive and awesome habits. It is changing and increasing the internal drive to do the things I should do, even when I don’t want to.

I don’t have any solutions, but I do have a list of things I want to transform my perceptions about. My hope is that by listing them I can see them more clearly, identify with what’s stopping me and maybe discovery they’re just not important and I don’t need to do them.

I want to want to…

  1. Keep a neater office, not just a desk.
  2. Play more games with the kids.
  3. Feel better about “marketing” myself and my work.
  4. Feel more comfortable letting others help.
  5. Be more social, go to more meetups, network more.
  6. Learn about writing great stories.
  7. Be motivated to take Earn 1K style courses.
  8. Resume drawing again.
  9. Read non-fiction.
  10. Meditate more and push myself to it.
  11. Learn more about user interfaces and designs.
  12. Stop developing so much and focus on higher level work.

That seems like a good start. There’s so much more, and so much more I don’t need to do. Life is short and I’ve always felt it’s more important to do the things I enjoy and naturally want, as long as I’m not feeling penalized. Now I worry that I don’t know what those things could unlock, as I found when I started studying social psychology.

The world is so big, so vast, spending every day doing the same things that we wanted in the past doesn’t mean we’re doing what we want to do now, it’s just a rut. Now I’m going to see more about item 2.