I was bulldozing through the accumulation of to-dos on my calendar for a recent day, noticing how many of them had migrated from past days where they had languished, neglected.
OK, not so much neglected as resisted. I didn't want to do them.
Do you have this ritual, too?
I thought they would take effort or energy I didn't have for them, I preferred doing something else, I rationalized they were not a priority, or I napped instead. Whatever the justification for not doing them, they all piled up on this day.
Looking at my lust-less list, I AHA-ed. I have no excitement for this day's doings.
How do you counter that? How do you bring excitement to resistance? More on that in a second.
My bigger question quickly followed: Where is my TRUE EXCITEMENT in life? How many times a day can I say I feel excited?
And then, to be thorough, I delved into the definition of excitement. I didn't want to confuse my gusto for paleo double dark chocolate cinnamon-chili brownies as life excitement. The word seems to have appeared in the early 15th century, connoting encouragement. In the mid-1850s it morphed into meaning mental and emotional agitation. Today, we use it to describe enthusiasm and eagerness. Zeal. Zest. Exhilaration.
So, with this clarity, where do I feel excitement in my days? And you in your days?
It gave me pause. That is perhaps a bigger picture life question.
Back to the day planner and resistance. There is a Grand Canyon for me between resistance and excitement. And yet... I could see my way from here to there.
Here's my trick to fjord the resistance chasm:
For each to-do, I listed next to it the POTENTIAL for excitement. It could have been exploring newness, curiosity about learning something I needed to research, connecting with someone over creating possibilities rather than limitations. Sometimes feeling the energy flow from moving past something I resisted was all I needed to feel enthusiasm for completing it.
With a list of excitement potentials, I blazed through with a feistiness that had been dormant.
Why is excitement valuable to befriend?
Research shows that cueing our brains to get excited about something steers us in that direction.
- Ironically, when we tell ourselves to be calm, we think about the things that could go wrong, amplifying our stress and anxiety.
- When we tell ourselves to get excited about something, we anticipate things going well, reducing stress.
It's challenging to be excited about life when it feels we are not living our own life, when we are out of alignment with our life dreams.
But we CAN master excitement by:
- weaving in new-ness (new challenges, friends, interests),
- getting involved in meaningfulness (hobbies, activities, goals), and
- identifying the potential in even the most mundane tasks for zestiness.
And when we choose to experience some excitement in the things we have resisted, our life can benefit from an enhanced flow where previously we put blocks in our own way.
Next time the to-dos roll over endlessly from day to day, ask: Where can we cook up some excitement to rev through resistance?
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