Working at Enjoyment
By: Rodney Olsen
It’s a weird concept but I’ve been thinking again recently about the self-discipline we require to do the things we love.
We might imagine that we’ll just get on and do the stuff we love doing and that we only need to discipline ourselves to do the things that we don’t like to do; the things we have to anyway.
It takes real discipline and resolve for me to do any gardening and a bunch of other things that aren’t really my thing but what about the things I really enjoy doing?
Shouldn’t those things come easily to me?
Perth’s beautiful weather makes my city the perfect place for cycling. It’s one of my favourite pastimes yet if I don’t discipline myself to get out there on my bike I’ll miss out on something I love. It’s easy to sleep in on a Saturday morning instead of rising early to ride with my cycling friends but I know that if I put in the effort I’ll get greater benefits from cycling than I would from an extra hour in bed.
When I force myself into the habit of regular cycling I feel fitter and more energised, yet that discipline can slip away so easily. With a ride right across Australia on the horizon next year, I’d better get that discipline happening soon or I’ll miss out on my big adventure.
If I love reading so much why do I need to discipline myself to sit down with a book for an hour?
A week or two can often go past without me sitting down to soak in some words from the pages of a good book yet when I make the time to read I can easily get lost among the words and I thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. Sitting down with a coffee in one hand and a book in the other is one of the most satisfying things in the world yet I can waste my time on the trivial things of life rather than reading.
We need to work on our relationships.
Some relationships are easier than others, but we even need to put in a great deal of effort on our relationships with those we love.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well. Theodore Roosevelt
Do you find the same thing happening?
Are there things that you really love yet you find you have to discipline yourself to invest your time pursuing them?
I find the same thing with my faith. I’m never happier than when I feel that I’m in tune with the Creator yet I can let time slip through my fingers without making the effort to recharge my spiritual batteries.
The simple spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading the scriptures, reflecting and others that are absolutely life giving can be easily crowded out in our busy world.
Why do we let ourselves get robbed of the real stuff of life?
It’s somehow strange that we should have to exercise discipline and self-control to do the things that make us feel most alive but sadly it’s true. I guess that’s where priority setting comes into play.
What are you like at doing the things that you love? Are there things you love, things that truly energise you, that you have let slip away?
Article supplied with thanks to Rodney Olsen.
About the Author: Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist and former radio broadcaster who works for Compassion Australia.