In a go-go world, we get caught up in the tailspin of chasing after a job promotion, marking off items on our to-do list, running errands, and doing household chores — all for a sense of completion, relaxation, and peace of mind. Too often, our satisfaction is delayed, stalled, or sometimes never comes because of more stuff added to the plate, like that next stack of mail dropped at our doorstep.
When you think about it, most of our activity is outcome driven. It’s ingrained in us from birth. Everything has a purpose. We make good grades to pass class and get promoted to the next level. We go to the gym for fitness and weight loss. Even most hobbies are results driven. Take scrapbooking, for example. You are working towards making a photo album from front to back.
With emphasis placed on results, we learn that good feelings ride on the final product. But, we can never win – good is never enough.
No wonder it’s difficult for us to take it easy, be okay with failure, relax when things aren’t moving forward, insert your stress here.
We need activities that are not centered around the goal.
What activities do you engage in for the sheer purpose of the activity itself?
What is one pastime you enjoy for the sake of the process and not the goal?
Examples might include exploring with art, music, and movement. Go to the art store and pick up materials that you find interesting. Read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and learn how to draw. Or sit out in the sun and breathe in fresh air. You might play with your furry four-legged friend. Travel to somewhere new. Take a different exercise class.
Remember, you are doing the activity for the sake of enjoying it, not trying to be better at it.
It’s more about expression than production, like play.
I invite you to consider adding a couple of these activities into your daily life, and explore what comes up for you. You might feel more calm, playful, and creative. You may notice a sense of ease and relaxation. Your family might enjoy spending more time with you. You might also surprise yourself with your artistic talents!