Thursday, February 09, 2012

To Pursue, or Not To Pursue?

I don't tend to pursue any extracurricular activities on a daily basis. Not for long, anyway.

Is that wrong?

Rather than labeling it right or wrong, I'm just going to say that it is what it is.

It is who I am.

I do things in spurts. To deny this is to deny myself.

I'm not going to force myself to put forth daily effort on anything.

That's not to say I've never forced myself. I have. And the way I see it now, that was a mistake.

When I've forced myself, it hasn't made me happy.

Forcing myself to do things is... well... a chore. That's pretty much the definition of a chore. It's something you don't want to do. You're forced to do it. It doesn't matter if you're being forced by someone else, or by yourself. If you're doing what you don't want to do, it's a chore.

And who in their right mind would pursue a chore?

Isn't happiness the whole point of pursuing things? And if it isn't the point, then I don't see the point.

We pursue things because we're not satisfied. We want more. More stuff. More experiences. More... fill-in-the-blank.

We want more.

If we didn't want more fill-in-the-blank, we wouldn't be pursuing more fill-in-the-blank. We'd be content with the fill-in-the-blank that we have.

One of my problems, and likely the problem of many others, is that I do want more fill-in-the-blank, but I'm not compelled to take action. At least, not on a regular basis.

In itself, that's not a problem. I mean, not being compelled. So what if I'm not compelled?

The problem comes when I'm not compelled to do something, and I hear this little voice in my head telling me that I need to be working harder.

Who said that?

Who is that little voice?

Joe [shaking fist at sky]: Curse you, little voice!!

I have my moments. There are times when I'm compelled to take action every day. And guess what? During those times, I take action every day. And it feels great. It's not a chore.

But most of the time...


Which brings me back to my first point...

That's who I am.

I have to be happy with whatever my spurty action gets me. Well, I don't "have to" be. But I should be. Otherwise, it's a losing battle. If I'm not happy with the results of my spurty pursuits, then I'll never be happy.

How's that?

Let me explain.

Oh, please... let me explain!

I see two choices...

1. Force myself to work my ass off on a daily basis, whether I'm compelled or not.

2. Take action when I feel like taking action (see "Spurts").

Choice #1 is a chore. It's not who I am. It may give me better odds of getting to the mountaintop, but at what cost? And so what if I get to the mountaintop? What makes me think I'll be happy "up there" when the climb has been such a chore? And during the climb, I'm miserable because I've basically taken on another day job. I'm doing the current day job that I'd rather not be doing, and another day job that I'd rather not be doing in my "spare time" (which is no longer spare time).

Choice #2 is who I am. It may not get me to the mountaintop, but it will continue to get me a few things here and there. And along the way, I'm being myself. I have one day job, and the extra thing(s) that I'm compelled to do. And when I'm not compelled, I do nothing... except kick back and enjoy where I am... here and now. And if lightning strikes, and I do happen to wander my way up to the mountaintop, I'll arrive in a happy frame of mind, ready to enjoy the next climb. Or stop climbing. Whatever I'm compelled to do.

This isn't an exercise in figuring out what I want to do. It's an exercise in doing what I'm compelled to do... since I was compelled to write this morning.

It's also an exercise in communicating my choice... which is why I'm blogging instead of writing in my personal Journal.

This is not an exercise in telling you what to do. Your choice is up to you (see "duh").

My choice has already been made. I've made the mistake of choosing #1 at various points throughout my life. Now I chose #2.

Hopefully, I'll be wise enough to remember my choice, and not drift back into the trap of #1.