I grew up hearing the saying, “mind over matter.” It’s a truism I believe in. If we set our minds to something and take action, we usually get the results we’re looking for. That’s a good thing. But there’s also a flip side.
Here’s what it looks like:
You’re tired, but you push through the exhaustion to get something done. You’ve told yourself you’ll feel a lot better if you can check this thing off your list and you go for it. Next thing you know, whatever you wanted to get done (laundry, finish a report for work, picking up the house before bed, watching the end of a show even though your eyes are drooping) is done. Voila! And for a moment (a very brief moment) you feel good. You feel accomplished. Mind over matter. You pushed through the tiredness and completed the task.
But that good vibe you got doesn’t last, and you’re left feeling like Sisyphus. Remember him? He’s the guy who was condemned to roll a rock up to the top of a mountain, only to have the rock roll back down to the bottom every time he reached the top.
Maddening, isn’t it?
That’s the way most people live their lives. They keep pushing for the things that don’t really matter in exchange for a few sparks of joy that fizzle out faster than you can say fizzle.
We’re not meant to toil away day after day, take two weeks’ vacation a year (which we often work through) and then jump right back into the grind. Why are we settling for pushing through the drudgery for such small rewards? It’s exhausting.
I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating:
The number 1 reason women come to see me is they’re tired.
Is it any wonder? They are the modern-day Sisyphus. If this sounds like your story, how about dropping the rock and using your brilliant mind to create a new story?
Having more joy and less toil in your life is easier than you think.
Loving your life isn’t an all or nothing proposition. It can be found in small moments and one-offs. Here are my top 8 favorite ways that make my life more magical:
- Going for a walk and noticing the beauty that’s all around.
- Calling a friend or family member while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.
- Listening to music or a podcast while folding the laundry.
- Doing a 10-minute guided meditation (try the Balance app or Insight Timer) while lying in bed waiting to fall asleep.
- Putting my feet up and watching America’s favorite pastime (go Red Sox!).
- Listening to an audio book while commuting to work (Traffic? What traffic?)
- Walking the dog around the block and stopping for a leisurely chat with the neighbors.
- Literally stopping to smell the roses and breathing in their fragrant scent.
You don’t have to keep pushing the same rock up the hill over and over again. Joy comes in many forms and having diversity in what you choose to pursue not only keeps you from getting bored, but it also ignites the spark that fuels your happiness.
When it comes to mind over matter, which will you choose? Pushing through the same old humdrum or adding a little pizzazz into your daily routine? I hope it’s the latter.
Wishing you well,