Ideally, we can choose to always do what we love without ever needing to think about the things we don’t like. That, unfortunately, is not the case in real world. There are times when we need to do something we don’t like. Such as those dreaded burpees or that 6am 5km run on a cold winters morning in preparation for that race you signed up for with a mate, or cut out the cake you keep having mid-morning because you know it will help you lose weight by decreasing your calorie intake.
Just think of the time when you were in school or college. While there were some modules you liked, there were usually also some modules you didn’t like. But you needed to work your way through all of them, not just the ones you liked to achieve your final qualification.
As you can see, the ability to do well on things you don’t like is essential for success. It makes you perform consistently well no matter what. Such consistent performance will make you stand out among your peers.
Of course, we still need to motivate ourselves. We are more likely to perform well if we enjoy the process. While this might not be easy, here are some tips to help you enjoy what you are doing no matter what:
1. Look at the long-term benefit
Often, we need to do something we don’t like as a part of something larger which will give us big benefit in the future. For example, we take the modules we don’t like in college because it will eventually earn us a degree that gives us the opportunity to get a good job. It is unlikely that we need to do something we don’t like if there is no long-term benefit involved. By looking at the long-term benefit you will eventually acquire, the activity won’t look as bad as it is.
2. Find what you can learn from it
I believe there is always something we can learn from every experience. If we can’t find one, that’s maybe just because we are too focused on the negative side rather than the positive. That 6am run, yes it was wet, cold, you hadn’t had breakfast, your morning coffee and everyone is still in bed. A negative view, correct. Or you could look at it as its added valuable kms to your training, you have started your day with exercise and on the quiet run with only your mind to think about your breathing, you could have planned your day ahead. If you really can’t find any, at least the experience teaches you to be persistent in any situation. Or maybe the lesson learnt on that run is to eat a handful of nuts before leaving the house. That’s a valuable lesson in itself.
3. Think of doing it for someone you love
Love is a strong source of motivation. If you do something for someone you love, it’s very likely that you can stand even the most boring activity and even enjoy the process. So keep in mind that you do not do this for yourself, but for someone you love.
4. Enjoy the interaction with the people
Your source of fun and enjoyment is not just the activity, but also the interaction with the people there. While the activity itself might not be very exciting, there might be a lot of rich experiences you can get from the interaction with the people. That’s also one reason to enjoy what you are doing. Surely the interaction you get from a group exercise class is fun and rewarding!
5. Think and say something positive
If you keep thinking or saying that you don’t like an activity, there is no way you can enjoy it. Always think and say something positive. The points above helps you find positive things you can think and say about. You may think of the long-term benefit you will get, or the nice interaction you have with the people. Focus on these positive things; don’t ever think or say something negative..
6. Gather with passionate people
While you may not always have the luxury to choose who you workout with, whenever possible you should choose to gather with positive people. Choose the people who you know are passionate about the activity. Their passion would be contagious. They will give you the energy to stay positive and even enjoy what you are doing.