I took a seminar style freshman English course in college. There were just twelve students, and we sat around a conference table with Professor Patterson, a distinguished teacher who was in his final year before retirement.
We had an eight page paper due every week. I don’t think I had a paper that long due over any single semester in high school.
The first assignment was to analyze a sonnet. Sonnets are fourteen line poems. How was I going to write eight pages about about such a short poem?
Dr. Patterson noticed the collective chagrin and low level panic around the table as he explained the assignment.
I remember his advice well, almost 33 years later. He smiled and encouraged us to make this a pleasant experience. He suggested that as we tackled this project over the weekend we should find a comfortable chair and a tasty beverage and savor the work.
Somehow, his unexpected suggestion encouraged me and dulled the dread. I ended up doing just fine on that paper and throughout that class.
A comfortable chair and a tasty beverage. That image arises regularly when I’m confronted by an overwhelming or seemingly dreary task.
It’s a matter of mindset. Instead of resisting and dreading, I was able to see the work as an experience to be enjoyed.
It’s worth giving this a try when you face something difficult or unappealingly tedious. Find a way to flip your mindset and make it a pleasure.
Go to a happy place. Listen to lovely music. Find a comfortable chair and a tasty beverage. Act as if the unwanted task is something you chose and eagerly anticipate, and then delight in completing it.