Last night I came down with a case of the Mondays. Not too bad of a case, so don’t worry too much about me. But after being out of town on business last week, and back at the work this day, and making dinner, I felt like relaxing a bit. My 5 year old wanted to work on his kiwi crate – a science box that comes in the mail monthly, and I just watched him do it. Occasionally distracted by my phone, but my mind constantly drifted into – should I be doing something else – cleaning the bath, starting laundry, a house project?
But I kept coming back to one concept I’ve been reading about. That concept was “Do what needs to be done vs doing what I want to do”.
And in this case doing what I wanted to do – a house project, or something to further my goals, was in direct contrast to what needed to be done – spending time sitting with my child, helping him learn.
Luckily my case of the Mondays made that laundry less appealing.
But the lesson is the same whether we’re motivated to do it or not.
Doing what you want to do will render useless all the goals that you have.
If you constantly cave into playing fortnite, your kids will grow up to play fortnite.
If you constantly have the TV on to the Real housewives of somewhere, your daughters, even though they may not sit and stare at it – I mean it’s on the TV for you, not them, well, they still grow up thinking that drama is the way to deal with other women.
If success is a culmination of all the decisions you make, then doing what needs to be done will put you on that path.
I’ve got a phrase with my kids. “Do what you need to do, and then we can do what you want to do”.
My wife and I use it a lot with picking up toys – and getting out new ones. And it’s been magical. Remember the episode “Default to Yes”? It’s that – saying yes more than no – but doing so in a way that requires them to do the things they need to first.
So take a lesson from the parenting of your own child and apply it to your life too. Do something great first today – then relax some.