4.22.2009

Followup to "On Change" --> "I'd rather"

Some things I do, people react in public, on the comments and by submitting to link sites and whatnot. Some things, I guess, invoke a more personal and private type of response. Those things are the ones that tend to "hit home" or really make a point that readers would rather not drag out into the streets, but they feel like they should talk to me about it. It's also those things that I put the absolute least amount of thought into and just start blabbering about.

I've been getting a LOT of email on the "On Change" thing I wrote. I didn't even think about the words as they came out of my fingertips when I wrote it. I just did. And I guess some people liked it or needed to hear it. And one common thread came out from a LOT of you who wrote me back -- The "I'd Rather" thread.

As in, "I start doing x (like, write a book), and the entire time I'm doing it, all I can think is "I'd rather be doing y (like playing video games)." And that's what makes change so hard.

I know exactly what you mean. And here's the bad news first - it never actually goes away. You will ALWAYS prefer to do something comfortable and fun to something you perceive as work.

But here's the good news -- Eventually, it DOES become fun. It becomes something you enjoy doing. It's not work. It's relaxing, and enjoyable. Working out becomes your catharsis for the day's stress. Writing becomes your escape into worlds you invent and control. Building bookshelves becomes a silent protest to Ikea as you build shelves at 3x the quality for half the price.

It does. I promise. And that's part of the change. You become someone new, someone who sees that the "old fun" of playing video games was temporary and fleeting moments of enjoyment, and the time spent doing the "new fun" of working out is a long-lasting investment that pays dividens your entire life.

Not that video games are bad or evil - I still play them as often as I can. It's just that I quit preferring them over the other stuff in my life that I also enjoy doing, like writing books and working out, because no one ever walks up to me and squeezes your bicep and says "Wow, Joe... Have you been playing video games?" And they NEVER say "I was just browsing Amazon and randomly found your video recording of how you beat the boss on level 4-3, and I have to say, I was HOOKED! I watched all your video game replays!"

Anyway. I just wanted to follow up with that, and from there, I'm done. Look for strange observances on the packaging of chewing gum and reminiscing over old 90's bands starting again next post. Who knows, I may even upload another picture of my cat.