And to you good day!

What is the best possible way to find joy involved within tasks you generally do not want to do, yet are sort of required to do to keep your life going? << That sounded really silly, but some examples of what I am talking about may include (at least for me):

  1. Doing your taxes
  2. Washing dishes
  3. Studying for a test
  4. Looking for a job
  5. Fixing or repairing things

Notice that in these examples, it is not the end result will be as of doing these things. I am talking about nothing more than the activity itself.

And, I don't think this is a procrastination question either. It's just there are plenty of activities that I sort of need to do in my life, and I'm not having a problem beginning my engagement with them, it's just that the engagement itself is so boring, dull, dead and not fun that there is little motivation in me to sort of keep on going with it. It is then that procrastination begins, simply because I'd rather do something fun than something boring but necessary.

I've also figured out that my issue isn't typical avoidance behaviour either. I'm avoiding boredom I guess :)

Don't you agree we are meant to enjoy the journey instead of the end result? Help me out with this one guys.

asked 23 Mar '13, 07:51

Nikulas's gravatar image


@Nikulas None of these things are actually required. However, here is my 2 cents. The key to getting them done is to identify yourself as a person that does and to find joy in that. Activities do not bring joy, no activity has any emotional value whatsoever; identity brings joy. For an activity to bring joy, it must support your desired sense of identity. If another activity does that better, you will be compelled to do that instead; always. Learn how to live an ego centered life.

(23 Mar '13, 16:21) flowsurfer

@Nikulas A better list of "essential" life tasks is 1.Eating, 2.Shitting, 3.Sleeping 4.Breathing. Not sure if you can find joy in shitting, but you can at least find relief. :o

(23 Mar '13, 16:24) flowsurfer

nikulas, the perceptive tools we use may need an upgrade on what they see. then the mind has more options and changes what is known as joyful

(24 Mar '13, 09:10) fred

@flowsurfer gotta agree, deification is definitely underrated

(24 Mar '13, 19:22) ursixx
showing 0 of 4 show 4 more comments

Nikulas, this excerpt from Michael Browns book The Presence Process might point you in the right direction.

Before we discover how to integrate our unconscious mental activity it plagues us twenty-four hours a day.

As a result, when we are at work, though we may assume our full attention is on the task at hand, it seldom is. Much of our attention is involved in the unconscious conflicts that are taking place within us.

Once we integrate this, our ability to focus on our current activity increases. The consequence is that tasks that used to be challenging and draining become effortless and are completed in a much shorter period of time. We have a sense of having more time, and simultaneously a sense that everything we are attending to is happening faster.

Also, because we have less unconscious activity to distract us from current activities, we discover we enjoy and feel energized by tasks that previously drained us. Increasing present moment awareness transforms the mundane chores we once resisted resisted into meaningful and joyful activity.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 23 Mar '13, 08:22

Satori's gravatar image



@Satori- Thankyou for this very useful snippet of applicable wisdom! My psychic self told me there was bound to be a "get in the moment" answer awaiting :) I recall a year ago I was going through a rough time...So rough, there was only one solution- the Eckhart Tolle way. I was a hardcare, raw in the magical NOW dude for about a week. What I found is that time went veeeery quickly (with the boring job I had), I had more energy and girls were attracted to me so much more.

(23 Mar '13, 08:43) Nikulas

Don't you agree we are meant to enjoy the journey instead of the end result?

Yes, I agree. And I also think that it's really important to make all the little things in life more fun to make life more fun in general.

It doesn't mean that these tasks must give you the most joyous experience that you ever had in your life. It just means that you at least make an effort to make them feel better first (not joyful, not the best thing ever...just better).

Making an attempt to make a task feel better before doing it, is moving towards alignment. And making an effort to move towards alignment is the real secret to life I believe.

Doing your taxes

So for instance I might feel stressed and angry when I think about doing my taxes. Therefore I would make an attempt to feel better about it first. I wouldn't expect to feel amazing about doing them (though it might happen too).

If I just could feel better than stressed (e.g. bored), it would make my life better.

How do you seek joy in mundane, boring yet essential life tasks?

The best and easiest way for me is to ask myself how I want to feel when doing my taxes and then I try to create the feeling of it in my body (solar plexus area).

Actually I ask 2 questions.

  1. How do I feel now about doing my taxes?
  2. How do I want to feel about doing my taxes?

So I might say "I feel stressed. I want to feel content and easy about doing my taxes.

Then I take those two emotional words (easy and content) and say them in my mind and I try to feel them in my body. So this is how my mental monologue would sound like.

" would I feel if I felt easy and content about doing something? would I feel if I felt easy and content about doing my taxes? would someone else feel if he felt easy and content about doing taxes?...ease...content...contentment...easy..."

If I can't make the leap to generate the feeling of ease and contentment I would try "bored" or "impatience" first. Because at least it's better than feeling stressed and angry, right?

This might take 1-5 minutes.

So I try to stay with this feeling in my body long enough so that it automatically changes my feeling about doing the task.

You don't have to think about the specifics. It's sufficient to create the general feeling in your body using a very general emotional word.

And the really cool thing is that if you stay with this general emotional feeling in your body, specifics come to your mind automatically. So your mind might suddenly come up with all those little reasons why it is ok to feel content and easy about doing taxes.

Actually this is Abraham's concept of "creating a grid". It is very effective and easy to do. You might want to try it.


answered 23 Mar '13, 08:41

releaser99's gravatar image


Nice, nice. I have heard a couple of things with the idea of (either visualising or physically looking at) a single word as a tool to stir up your imagination and higher thoughts. Eg: if I am lethargic but want to go to bed at 2am, I can just lie in my bed and repeat "sleep. tired. sleep. dream. tired...." with mixed results in different areas of my life.

When it comes to things I have to do but don't want to at all (big feelings of "I dont want to"), I always successfully manage to align...

(23 Mar '13, 08:51) Nikulas

...just a little further to joy than before I did it at all. I say that in comparison to things that are still not too enjayable; I never seem to remind myself with the alignment first-before-action approach, and I rekcon I'd get a bigger enjoyment jolt out of things if I would do that first.

Yes, it defiantly seems that aligning first, in even the smallest things in life, manages to make your day that much better.

(23 Mar '13, 08:54) Nikulas

@releaser99 Adam's Apples - much enjoyed in our house, thanks for ther recommendation - many laugh out loud moments.

(24 Mar '13, 15:59) Catherine

@Nikulas "...just a little further to joy than before I did it at all." Agree, and I also think it's all about practice. My experience is that the more often and regular I try to align first, the better I become in finding the feeling place. It's like training a muscle. That's why I don't force this process. It's enough to feel a little bit better and better.

@Catherine I'm glad you enjoyed it :). I watched that movie many times but I still laugh out loud every time I watch it again :).

(24 Mar '13, 19:41) releaser99

@Nikulas There are people who go their entire lives without doing any of the things you listed. And I don't mean just street bums, I mean there are people who are very happy without doing any of those things. You don't have to do them and to pretend you do will not help you align because it makes them a burden you are forced to carry. The easiest way to align I think is to take full responsibility for your choices and not use the "I have to do this" excuse.

(24 Mar '13, 20:22) flowsurfer
showing 2 of 5 show 3 more comments

I pray. A lot. And I try to dedicate the task to God.

Sounds kind of lofty and all that, but it seems to help me get the job done. Then, I am doing the task for God, for good, instead of just myself. I picture God smiling down on me, saying, "Good job, Jai! I am proud of you!"

I break larger tasks into little sections, and try to do a section at a time with lots of breaks. This worked well on my homework for school. I rewarded myself a little for each section completed. And I kept praying.

Hope this helps. It's what I do, anyway.



answered 23 Mar '13, 08:04

Jaianniah's gravatar image


Yes Jai, i use this too. This sort of brings Divine Will into us instead of trying to do on our own. So on a mundane task you are just putting a little extra spin already by giving it to the Divine. Other than that what's also worked me well is instead of just using thoughts alone, i try to break the Main line of Consciousness.

(25 Mar '13, 13:59) abrahamloa

Meaning lets say i do some light meditation or i do an activity where i really enjoy and takes me out of my mind for a good period of more than 15 mins. Even dancing if you are dancer, or you go into nature You can use anything that does that. Of course when you do this as steady practice with intention that this touches the Divine Energy then you start manifesting that energy into other things too.

(25 Mar '13, 14:02) abrahamloa

And when i do taxes - i can say to myself - i am more than my body, i am not my mind etc... this loosens the grip of boredom in the task or you will just do it w/o noticing the pain of doing it etc... Its the same like how you workout sometimes and suddenly time flew...

(25 Mar '13, 14:03) abrahamloa
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

This is a very timely question for me. I have been observing my own attitudes toward "Things I Gotta Do Today", and working to mould them into a better-feeling place. I had been dreading small, silly things recently, and really diminshing my own experiences by doing so. The answer for me, is right there in your question. :)

Notice that in these examples, it is not the end result will be as of doing these things. I am talking about nothing more than the activity itself.

It is usually only when I keep the end result in mind, that I find mundane tasks less than amusing.

It is certainly the attainment of the goal that motivates me to engage in the experience, but then it's all about getting to somewhere I am not at this moment, which keeps me feeling "less than". Until the goals are accomplished, there is a negative energy attached to all of it, for me.

So my solution is that I do set goals (using The Place Mat Process), but then drop the idea of the end result, and give myself over to the experiences they bring me.

There is a lot to be enjoyed in the activity itself if you simply remove the goal of getting to that end result. Solving puzzles, absorbing new information, meeting new people in new situations - these are all things people do for fun, if you think about it. And the dishes? Warm running water and a soapy, good-smelling puddle to play in? Love it! :D

This thought has created a very helpful change in how I view a lot of my life; taking much of my day from being goal-oriented to being experience-oriented. I am loving it, I think mainly because I don't always achieve my goals (or wind up finding them a hollow victory), but I always achieve an experience. Very satisfying.



answered 23 Mar '13, 12:16

Grace's gravatar image


edited 23 Mar '13, 12:21

Click here to create a free account

If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website

Related Questions