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Blog: Discovering Your Core Values
Do What You Have To - And Enjoy It - To Do What You Want To

"We do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do."  I just read that quote from Denzel Washington.  He was interviewed in O, The Oprah Magazine this month.

We take Denzel's quote one step further in our household by saying you should also learn to enjoy those things you have to do.  In The Gallagher Family Philosophy, one of our points is Have Fun.  Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do.  Make the time for the things you like.  Learn to take pleasure in the things you have to do.

Enjoying the action for the action itself and nothing more.  Being so present in the moment that you are completely aware of your surroundings and what you are doing.  How about taking a shower?  I used to spend my showers thinking; considering a problem that was bothering me, reminiscing about the past, making plans for the future - even what was it I was going to do that day.  Sometimes I'd practice my presentations while showering.

Since then I've become anti-multi-tasking.  There is a growing body of research that shows that multi-tasking actually erodes productivity rather than enhancing it.  The other thing it does is not allow one to enjoy a particular activity to the fullest.

Taking a shower may not be something you have to do.  (At least not everyday like most Americans think you have to.)  But it is part of taking care of your body and you need to do that.  So you take a shower so you can do the things you want to do.  While you're in the shower, though, enjoy it.  Hear the water, feel the pounding or trickling on your skin, breathe in the steam, smell the shampoo or soap scents.  Be present.  I challenge you to do nothing but think about the actual shower.

Let's take another example: we've struggled with the cleaning up of the kitchen after dinner in my house the last month.  You have to clean up the kitchen so you can do what you want - watch TV, call your friends, surf the internet, etc.  So the kids know it has to be done, but they grumble and procrastinate and whine the whole time.  It gets done, but they certainly don't enjoy it.  I say wouldn't it be so much better if you actually enjoyed what you were doing?  It would get done faster (or seem so), you wouldn't loathe it so much, and you might even smile?
You have to do it, why not enjoy it?  Then you can get to what you want even faster.  And enjoy your life a little bit more.

Feel the soap bubbles in sink, enjoy the warm water on your skin.  Appreciate the shine on the table after it's wiped.  Have a conversation with those around you.  Listen to the clanking of dishes.  Hear the swooshing of the broom on the floor, the hum of the dishwasher.  Actually notice your surroundings.

Think about those things in your life you have to do.  Cut the grass, vacuum the rug, laundry, dishes, balance your checkbook, go grocery shopping.  All those mundane chores you do everyday.  You do them to get to what you want to be doing.  Why not enjoy them, too?


posted on: 12/29/2007 12:00:00 PM by Tami Gallagher
category: The Mental Side

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Discovering Your Core Values

by Tami Gallagher

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About Tami:

Tami Gallagher is a Professional Organizer who specializes in Family Time Management. Her company does individual family consulting, workshops and presentations, and also provides community resources for families. Ms. Gallagher believes every family matters. She teaches families how to examine their core values and use them as a foundation in organizing their lives. Available on her website is The Family Core Organizer CD. This fun, practical, and easy to use tool is the ultimate planner and information keeper for your family. Everything you need all in one location!

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