Secrets of Adulthood #1

ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL

I got the idea of writing down “Secrets of Adulthood” from a book that I read a couple months ago and ever since then I have been writing down sentences, that resonated with me, whenever I would encounter them. Some I pieced together myself.

The first secret of acting how I desire to feel is something, that I have benefitted from to an almost surprisingly significant extend, everyday more than the last. To “Act the way you want to feel” is, I think, possibly merely a more authentic-sounding manner of phrasing “Fake it till you make it” nevertheless the principle is basically identical. Situations that I have found it to be particularly helpful are whenever I am dreading doing something that I am essentially obligated to do. It reminds me of one of my absolute favourite quotes by the American author Maya Angelou: “If you don’t like something change it, if you can’t change it change your attitude” this I have found to be accurate especially in terms of work. I love my work with everything it includes but for some reason, I am always dreading it. As soon as I am at work I am delighted to be there – It is the ironing my shirt, changing clothes, applying makeup and driving there that occurs so draining to me. (Even just writing this down I realize how silly it is) The past couple of weeks have been different. I reminded myself of “Act the way you want to feel” and I immediately began to attempt in changing my attitude to something more positive. If you want to feel more positive you need to act more positively. If you want to feel more energetic you need to act more energetically. In a matter of just a couple of days I had managed to shift my focus from negative to positive and whenever I think “I don’t want to do this ____” I correct myself and replace it with “I am excited to do this ____” and by focusing on the things that I like about my work, I have managed to actually get excited about it in contrast, something that ultimately contributes tremendously, even if unacknowledged, to the work environment. I take the same approach to running as well. I experience nothing but benefits from running, in fact running in itself is in a way a part of this practice: by running even if (and sometimes especially if) I am exhausted I feel more energetic by acting more energetically rather than curling up on the couch. However for some reason the act of changing into my running gear, mapping out a route in my head, finding an appropriate soundtrack on my iPhone is usually almost as exhausting as the actual act of running. However lately I have started listing all of the upsides to running whenever I begin to list excuses of why making that extra effort is too much effort and in doing this I now actually both appreciate and enjoy it more. (Yet I genuinely don’t desire the actual running, not the getting ready, I won’t force myself to do so, especially not in the attempt to meet some external expectation. It’s another secret of adulthood: By giving up something I gain)

I apply the concept as often as I can and improving everyday. In this, awareness, combined with perspective, is key and admittedly I have found that more often than not, it isn’t as much the issue as it is the attitude, that I take towards it, that is the actual issue. Sometimes being wrong is ok and honestly, it is notably easier to change yourself rather than to change others.

 

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