Well maybe don’t stop doing everything you strongly dislike. I mean you have to get up, you have to go to work, you must pay your bills, etc.
But there are certain things that we do because we think we ought to do them, not because we want to do them.
Part of personal growth is shedding bad habits, finding best practices, and growing from them.
You might be thinking, sure if I could just stop my bad habits I would.
But you do realize that the only thing stopping you from personal growth is yourself.
Excuses suck, people are lazy, and life is hard. We all get it.
You can’t tell me that you have been handed the worst hand of cards in this game we call life.
I use to not read. Never “had” time.
But I realized that in order for me to grow in my profession and ultimately get to where I wanted to go, I better level up my knowledge real quick.
So I set a personal challenge to myself, I was going to read a book a month.
For some readers this would be easy.
I forced myself to sit down and read a minimum of 5-10 pages every day.
I fell in love with it.
My creativity spiked, I felt accomplished after getting my first 3 books down.
I had more insight into my work situation, I could relate to others better, and a bunch of other great things that happen when you expand your mind and set off on a personal growth journey.
I stopped making excuses about not having the time or energy to read and retooled my mind to want to read.
Now, if I miss a morning reading, I feel like I am cheating myself out on knowledge I should be receiving.
This post isn’t some productivity hacks
I don’t have a magical framework for you to follow.
I can’t help you read more by doing x.
I wouldn’t even recommend that everyone read every morning.
But what I would challenge you on is stop doing things that make you unhappy (within reason).
Reading is an easy example and one that most people point to. Allow me to illustrate this point in another way.
An easy way to make yourself happier
I have a client. He is a great guy.
But, he can get a little excited if deadlines aren’t met. His expectations are a little higher than they ought to be but I like a challenge and I like a happy client.
However, we have come to a mutual disagreement on a project.
I have been dreading calling him for a few days now, because I assume he is going to tell me off and one of three things is going to happen.
- I am going to drag my feet through the project
- He is going to fire me
- I am going to fire him
Because I didn’t pick up the phone and call him, I worked for two days with a looming sense that something bad is going to happen.
Enough is enough
I ring up the client, explain I won’t be meeting the deadline, I give 2 reasons why (placing the blame on myself), tell him that I understand his needs and expectations are not being met, and offer to fire myself.
He, unexpectedly tells me that won’t do and take as much time as I need because I do great work for him and he is happy with everything I have delivered.
I hung up feeling happy, rewarded, and motivated to do more great work for this client.
The point is replace negative tasks with positive tasks
By me not calling, I was forcing myself to think negatively about my work, about my client, and about the project.
You might be thinking well, you said “don’t do things you don’t like” and calling the client isn’t something you like doing.
I didn’t like the idea of having someone get fired. I don’t mind picking up the phone and talking with people.
Wrapping it up
I am not advocating that you quit your job (unless you have something promising lined up). I am not suggesting that you stop cooking dinner for your family, stop cleaning, or stop commuting to work because you don’t like it.
Instead, I am suggesting that you find things in your day-to-day life that force you to think negatively and remove them.
If you can eliminate one thing a week that forces you to do something you don’t like you will notice you are happier, probably more productive, and have the ability to grow as a person.
Write a list.
If you are a list writer (like me), take some time and write everything you do in a day and what you don’t like. See if any of those can be accomplished by a quick phone call, a small update in your daily schedule, or a conversation with a loved one.
You have to be honest with yourself and honest with your intentions.
But when you remove things that are negative, those feelings are replaced with positivity and you are on your journey of personal growth and development.