I’m sad when there is work to do

It is a pattern.

I am sad when faced with the prospect of actual hard work. It starts with avoidance and procrastination at a micro scale, and ends up with feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.

There are a couple of things to note here.

First, the task is the task — regardless of my feelings. The water doesn’t care if I’m happy or sad. It must be boiled. You’ll take all of the load out of boiling water if, y’know, you just boil water. Instead of thinking.

Second, the sooner you get at it, the better. Try to see those reflexive avoidance and procrastination patterns and get to it at that moment — the emotion is just a smidge, a seed. Easy to deal with. What was it that General Patton said? “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Better: adequate action now is all that’s necessary. Barely adequate.

Third, how to break the pattern? It seems to me that one way is to simply do less, attempt less. Keep the same goals, the same standards for what is excellent. Demand excellence of yourself. But only in a few things. And allow time for excellence to emerge, just as it takes time for trees to grow to the sky. Everything else–acceptance.

Fourth, can the pattern even be altered? Is this type of thinking just part of the human condition? Maybe. Maybe this is the burr under the saddle that keeps us willing to evolve. Even if it is — and this is impossible to prove one way or the other — I choose to believe the pattern can be altered, and I strive to do so.

Right now I’m sad. Or actually less sad, having written these words. Let’s evolve.

You’re packed. You’ve had a cup of coffee. Have a quick shower. Hit it. You’ll be finished with your nemesis — self-selected nemisis! — soon enough.