Sometimes we have to force ourselves into doing something, even if we don’t want to.
It is Saturday afternoon, I am holding my surfboard and standing on the other side of the planet in Brazil. A typical picture for a Czech girl, haha. I am looking at the waves. They aren’t so good today. I do not want to enter the water at all.
A lot of things are going through my mind. I am thinking about how tired I am and why I am forcing myself to surf today. Why did I not stay at home? I could be sitting on the patio right now and doing nothing. Well, I am here. I have already put on my wetsuit, which is the most annoying part. I am not going home now! Besides, I know very well that it will be good for me. It is important to me. Even if I do not feel like it, I know it will recharge my batteries and clear my mind.
Well, well, sometimes we have to force ourselves do what makes us feel good. The funniest thing is that during my master’s degree in the psychology of decision-making, I focused on self-control and willpower. I studied that there is “Want self” and “Should self”, who are like imagine as a devil and an angel sitting on each shoulder and whispering in our ear what to do.
That’s exactly how I felt at that moment. The devil whispering to me to give up: “What a struggle it will be to paddle! Go home!” On the other hand, the angel whispering to me: “surfing will be good for you, it will clear your head, you need it.”
After a longer internal dialogue, I decided to do not what I want, but what I should do, to have the strength for the next working week. I entered the ocean and started paddling. I got to the line-up, sat on the board and started to wait for a good wave.
I look around and know that all the suffering is worth this moment. A wonderful feeling spread throughout my body. The sea makes sense to me. I can’t explain it and I will definitely write another article about my connection with the sea.
That day I caught one of the best waves of the year from the line-up until the sand. Perfect wave, it opened beautifully. Fantastic , my mood has changed. I am smiling from ear to ear and telling myself “well, you see how important it is to do things, even if you don’t feel like it”
It is such a disease these days. Many times we know what is good for us but we don’t do it because we just don’t feel like it at the time. The biggest problem is that the negative consequences don’t appear immediately, it can take years, but they will knock on the door one day and you will be surprised, I guarantee you that. Lack of rest leads to burnout, lack of sports to back and joint pain, unhealthy diet to excess weight and then to other diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, smoking leads to cancer, etc.
So how do you force yourself to do what is good for you in the long run?
- Remind yourself of long-term gains
If I get involved in this activity, what will it do for me in the future? Imagine you already have it. Imagine yourself with a calm mind full of new ideas, or how your favorite jeans fit again, how you are still skiing in your eighties.
Such as I did, I imagined how surfing would clear my mind and fill me with energy and motivation. What an amazing feeling it is to catch a wave!
- Build yourself up step by step
I just force myself out of bed when the alarm goes off. I will have breakfast. So now I’m going to force myself to get in the car and go to the beach, then I’m going to force myself to put on a wetsuit, then I’m going to force myself to go to the part of the beach where I’m going to catch waves, and if I’ve made it this far, I’m going to get in the water.
I love surfing, but when it’s cold, the waves aren’t great and the water is cold, the thought of it makes me not want to get out of a warm and comfortable bed. In these moments, I have to be smart and, force myself gradually.
- Praise yourself
Appreciate the fact that you have matured, that you did not listen to the devil on your left shoulder, that you dug into what is good for you and your body and will bring long-term benefits. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t want to. The most important thing is that you dug into it. I don’t have to be like Radovan (Czech character for kids who is always happy and excited), and go surfing in bad conditions all excited about how great it is that the waves are terrible today. The important thing is that I go because I know it will be good for me.
Stop wanting to be Superman or Radovan. Don’t wait until you feel like it. Or until there’s nothing left to do and someone puts a knife at your neck. Or for the so-called wake up call, when the doctor tells you: “if you don’t lose weight and reduce your diabetes, you will lose your sight.”
Do what needs to be done, even if you don’t feel like it, because you’re just not a spoiled brat who does whatever he wants. Be responsible to yourself! You will see that it pays off and you too will catch your “wave”, which will be worth it.
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