“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” -Goethe
This weekend, I attended the Wanderlust Yoga & Music Festival where I gave a presentation on Saturday afternoon. That evening, my friend and I went to the Girl Talk concert. In case you’re not familiar, Girl Talk is a musician specializing in mash-ups.
Within five minutes of getting there, we folded ourselves into a crowded, rave-like environment, complete with frantic dancing, pushing, and claustrophobia-inducing chaos. Surrounded by smoke and free-spirited joy, I felt a deep sense of inner conflict.
I wanted to want to be there–to be the kind of person who gets so lost in the music and movement that personal space becomes unnecessary. But a larger part of me wanted to be somewhere removed, where I could still hear, but with full range of motion, pristine air, and less potential for beer-spilling on my flip-flops.
Essentially, I wanted to enjoy an experience that I plain and simply didn’t, and I neglected to vocalize this for at least an hour. Ironically, I had just read something about this in the book The Happiness Project, and yet I still felt like I should want to be there, because my friend seemed to enjoy it, and also because I didn’t want to somehow miss out.
Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you’ve tried to force yourself to like classic literature for a book club, despite preferring self-help books. Or maybe you’ve pushed yourself to go to happy hour with your friends, even though it means sacrificing time you’d rather spend on a passion.
The constant: you think that you should like something, and as a result, ignore your instincts when it comes to allocating your time.
We only get so many hours in a day. While there’s something to be said for trying new things and being social, we open ourselves up to far more happiness if we honor what we actually love and acknowledge the things we don’t.
Today if you feel tempted to say yes to something you don’t really want to do, ask yourself: What would I enjoy more? And what’s stopping me from doing that?
Photo by jeet_sen