The first 14 years of my life were on a 1200 acre farm in Clarkefield which is a small town with a population of 430. It was great place to grow up as I was always experiencing lots of different adventures, but I also responsible for various chores. Values that are important to me today were instilled in me from life on the farm.
A chore I hated was cutting the grass. It wasn’t that it was difficult, it was just boring because it took so long to do. We had 2 lawnmowers that my brother Craig and I used simultaneously and the task of cutting, raking (the lawnmowers didn’t have grass catchers) and disposing would take around 3 hours to complete. Even after moving to a suburban house I still didn’t like cutting a much smaller amount of grass for many years. However, after a while (ok a long time!!!) it became a task that I’ve learnt to enjoy.
Most importantly I changed my relationship to the task and now look at the time to cut the grass through a lens of:
- It gives me a break from more complex matters
- I can use it for thinking time to solve other issues
- Smartphone technology enables me to listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook
- I get a level of satisfaction by seeing instant results from the effort expended
While the environment is different from my childhood memories, the biggest change was my mindset as I’ve embraced the task and now look forward to cutting the grass. This would have never been possible without the different attitude.
Sometimes there are tasks we aren’t fond of but just have to get done. Instead of fighting it, maybe we’re better off just going with it. What tasks could you view differently?