In the end, we usually find we want to do what we need to do (even if we’d really rather not) because the pain of not doing it is worse than the pain of doing it. Still with me?
For some reason, dentists spring to mind…
But there’s another reason why we should sometimes do the things we don’t want to, even if we don’t have to and the pain hasn’t got that bad, and that’s when the real reason we’re avoiding something is because we’re nervous of the unknown. We can imagine all kinds of horrible scenarios when we don’t know what will happen – it might hurt, we might not be able to escape, it might even kill us (unlikely). More likely is that we’ll feel a bit uncomfortable for a while until we get used to it – whatever ‘it’ is.
This is why I’m not keen on ‘personalised’ searches, individual play lists and so on. Why not trust to chance and be introduced to something new from time to time – be that music, books, TV programmes or food?
And what about trying out a new sport or hobby?
It’s a good idea to embrace the unknown sometimes. Not just tolerate it or go along with it, but embrace it, put our heart and soul into it and really give it a good go. What happens then? Well, it almost always turns out better when we really embrace and engage with what we’re doing, and we rarely get stuck doing it.
Not doing what you don’t want to do might mean finding out for certain what you don’t enjoy, rather than guessing that you won’t like it because it’s not what you usually do. That’s just fear of the unknown.
Finding out for sure means you really know. It also means your world just got bigger, especially if you find out you did like it after all. If not, at least you know a little more about yourself and the world and you’ll have experienced more of the infinite number of choices that life will give you.
By embracing the unknown and really giving it a go, even when we’re unsure, our world inevitably expands. By sticking with what we know we like it will just as inevitably shrink.