a little exercise: from dread to like

i was going to send this as an email to someone but why not post it here?

the question is – how do you turn something dreadful into something you like? actually, the words used were “purgatory” and “heaven” 🙂

i have a few exercises for this, and one of them has something to do with how we feel when we’re not 100% good at something. so here we go.

somewhere i read this: “the fact that we do not know how to be or do everything perfectly is not a good reason to lose confidence in ourselves.”

this can be turned into a little exercise:

list a few things that you don’t do perfectly, e.g.

  • paperwork
  • play with kids
  • exercise regularly
  • look after bad back
  • perform well at presentations

then ask yourself – what’s fun about these things?

what’s fun about doing paperwork?
e.g. i like paper! like, the actual paper. makes me think of books and writing and drawing.

what’s fun about playing with the kids?
e.g. i like finger puppets.

what’s fun about exercising regularly?
e.g. the cute guys at the gym

what’s fun about looking after my bad back?
e.g. lying on the floor with the TV on.

what’s fun about presentations?
e.g. i like powerpoint.

it’s a good idea to come up with at least 5 fun points for each activity you feel you’re not perfect at.

(p.s. it was much more fun to write this than to finish round 1 of my taxes. i soo dislike doing that this time around. so i’m going to take my own medicine. what’s fun about doing the taxes? 1 – i get to go on the web site of one of my favourite financial institutions; 2 – when i’m done, i can phone my husband and GLOAT; 3 – i get to walk my talk – one of my biggest motivators; 4 – i get to have a better overview over my finances – something i always enjoy; 5 – i enjoy looking at the neatness of spreadsheets. ok, i’m off now!)

(p.s. some time later – i actually did it and it worked!!!)

this post was listed in the carnival of motivation and inspiration

10 thoughts on “a little exercise: from dread to like

  1. isabella mori

    @gillian, well we all have our idiosyncratic likes and dislikes, don’t we …

    now that would be another meme – what kinds of things do you like that others find awful.

  2. Andrew

    Wow, it’s certainly a while since I’ve visited this blog!

    I agree with Gillian. I don’t like Powerpoint. Then again, I have never actually tried using it – I guess I have a preconceived notion about it. It’s technical, so it must be painful for technology cripples like me.

    Another way to turn something you don’t like into something at least bearable is to assign a more positive name for the task.

    For example, I used to dislike the process of making my ‘to do’ list. Accordingly, I changed the name of the task. No longer do I have a ‘to do’ list, I now have a ‘Weekly Success Plan.’

    The nature of the task (making a list of everything I need to do and when) is exactly the same as before. However, the idea of making a ‘Weekly Success Plan’ sounds much more exciting than that of making a dreaded ‘to do list.’

    Accordingly, I now make my weekly plan on a much more consistent basis than before, and it’s also a more pleasant task than before.



  3. isabella mori

    @andrew, i was JUST thinking about you yesterday! haven’t been to your blog in a while, either.

    yes, for people like us who place a lot of value on words, renaming an unpleasant task can make a big difference. like you, i don’t like to do lists very much. i like “wish list”. “wish” sounds kind of magical …

  4. Andrew

    Hi Isabella,

    ‘Wish’ lists do sound magical, and having a ‘wish list’ is certainly fun. It’s even better if that ‘magic’ is used to make at least some of those wishes happen!



    (P.S. You mentioned about my blog. My old blog has finished for now and the last entry was in February.

    I will be launching a new blog about business ethics in a few weeks time. If this is a topic which interests you, you are more than welcome to visit my blog. I will let you know when it has been launched)

  5. isabella mori

    thanks, @evan. fun is very important to me!

    @andrew – it’s really interesting how words work. i was just discussing the “wish list” vs. “to do list” with someone and for THAT person, “wish” totally doesn’t do the trick. so it’s important to use words that work for each one of us individually.

    very interested in your new blog. let us all know about it!

  6. Siona

    Liked this blog alot. I keep trying to find positive outlooks on life and this is a great idea for making boring tasks more bearable! Up till now I have told myself stories while doing the mundane jobs like ironing or cleaning etc. Thanks for the idea.

    Siona’s last blog post..Captain Drake and the Lake (Part 1)

  7. Tessa

    Hi Isabella!

    I miss visiting here, and am so glad that I “remembered not to forget” today!

    Love this question..I am a fun seeker and using this technique absolutely works for me. I love that you reminded me of it.
    Connect to the reason and look for the fun.

    Tessa’s last blog post..My new?best friends??

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