Enjoy: mini-mission

Enjoy: mini-mission

In today’s busy, competitive world our focus is usually on the end result. Who can do it cheaper, faster, better? Who is the best? How can I do it just like that?

Today’s mini-mission suggests that while you are racing to the finish line, you are missing the very best parts of the race.

If you could let go of the fear of failure, boycott perfection, and do something that you really care about, could you simply enjoy?

For example …

  • If you are writing a book, are you worried about what people will think of it or if it will sell, or are you engaged in putting words on paper and making your thoughts come to life?
  • If you are making a pie, are you directing more focus to making sure the pie looks just like the cover of the magazine you bought, or are you wondering how to taste 1 of those sugary apples while your hands are still covered in flour.
  • If you are taking a trip, do you feel frustrated over the packing and the traveling and can’t wait to get there, or do you feel adventurous and excited for the possibility of what you might discover on the way?

What if you decided to do something that had no measurable result and didn’t really contribute to the world in a bigger way? Could you do something that didn’t get you closer to a promotion? Could you engage in something that isn’t on your goal list just to enjoy yourself?

We’ve been trained to focus on results and doing our best. Your mini-mission today is to say “screw that”. Yep, say “screw that! I’d rather be completely unreasonable and lose myself in a project or activity than do exactly what’s expected in the most perfect way. Today I will enjoy”

  • Instead of being really good as something, enjoy the hell out of it.
  • Instead of trying your best, love what you do.
  • Instead of getting it done, linger over your work.
  • Instead of being perfect, get lost in being creative.

If you to are going to do something, would you rather define your project with words like productivity, deadlines, perfection, structure, outline, better, cheaper, faster or surround yourself with words like creative, linger, love, passion, meaningful, enjoy?

By taking the time to truly enjoy, you can accept the risk that whatever you do may be a complete disaster. Even if it is, you’ve smiled, laughed, connected, created and probably thought of another idea to enjoy. With that, you’ll find it wasn’t a complete disaster after all.

I understand that deadlines exist, products are produced and the world is competitive, but if just for today, you can let that go and immerse yourself in whatever you do, you might find that those other things happen more naturally than you would expect.

When has perfection and expectation derailed your efforts to enjoy? What do want to enjoy right now?

For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.

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Comments

  1. Julia says

    Thank you so much for this post.
    I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

    Especially because it’s nearly November and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming up. Two years ago I accepted the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. I told my boyfriend about it and he asked “Why are you writing a novel anyway? It’s unlikely you’ll ever publish it.”
    I was really disappointed that he thought I was wasting my time and he couldn’t see that I was actually enjoying it.
    And he was right – I didn’t publish the book. I didn’t even read it again after I was done.
    And I think this year I’ll do it again.

  2. says

    I think you are describing me. I’m a productive person, and it often leaves me venturing in my head instead of in front of me.

    I want to go home after work and get lost hanging out with my family. I want to take a break from “work” for the next hour and get lost in a “book”, renewing my intrigue and interest. Not focusing on how much I’m learning, what I will do with it, or what I need to do next.

    I remember going on a solitude retreat in the woods, and I got lost in writing in my journal. I was so happy not to have to produce anything or do anything with it, I just wrote for no purpose other than enjoying it.

  3. says

    It’s sad our culture teaches us to think something is only worth our time if it makes money. Better yet, a LOT of money. Or gets you noticed. I have to say I am very good at what you’re telling us to do! That’s how I’d spend every day if I could. Once in a while I can and it feels great, I usually feel so rejuvenated and relaxed and inspired after such a time. I think we definitely should schedule a day here and there to just ENJOY, thanks for the great reminder!!

  4. Heather says

    I think this article is a good reminder for those of us with children to just enjoy them, and stop always trying to make sure they’re doing everything perfectly in school or sports or otherwise. Stop worrying about what others may think, or how their performance might be rated. Just enjoy them.

  5. Kim says

    Courtney,

    I love, love, love this blog posting!! The phrase that sticks in my mind the most is “linger over your work”. Linger, linger, linger :) What a beautiful word and a beautiful action. This posting could not have come at a better time. Thank you so much.

    Julia, for what it is worth, I believe you CAN write that book and have it published…so get busy :) Also, just the ACT of writing the book is worth it alone, published or not.

  6. Kathleen Harris says

    Enjoy!! :) This is what we must remember as we approach the Holiday season, with magazine and on-line articles and segments on morning tv telling us how to have the “perfect” meal, gift, outfit, etc. Thanks, Courtney!

  7. says

    I think this needs to apply to my relationship with the significant other. It’s so easy to get caught up in gender roles and interpersonal politics and what you’re supposed to be doing with/for the other person and what you’re supposed to get in return. Kind of strange to think of love as some sort of zero-sum game.

    I say, let’s drop all that pretense and just enjoy each other’s company!

  8. says

    Great post, Courtney! Too often I get caught up wondering how what I’m doing fits in to the bigger picture or what other people will think rather than just being present and enjoying the activity. A good reminder for us to shut out that noise from time to time and just embrace whatever it is we’re doing.

  9. clearcutandcapable says

    Hi Courtney. This so inspired me to keep going with the things l really want to do. Too often we feel we must acheive an end result for the sake of being able to explain ourselves to other people. Even if its not really what we want deep down as if we have to have an excuse to enjoy ourselves. What is it that makes us feel guilty about enjoying ourselves.

  10. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    It’s so easy to forget the one thing we always did as kids, enjoy everything. The hustle & bustle of adulthood makes us forget to take the time to just have a little fun…for no reason at all.

  11. says

    Hi Courtney. I’ve just been introduced to your blog and am really enjoying it. This particular post inspired me to try a capoeira class last night! Unfortunately, the class was not great (the instructor didn’t spend much time with the “newbies” so we ended up doing only a few moves for a long time!). But, your advice was great. Thanks so much.

  12. hannelie van wyk says

    Hi – I really enjoyed reading this – you seem to effortlessly put in words what I’m feeling about my life – the way forward. I’m 47 and finally getting to a point where I see the changes that I longed for, and it’s great to enter into this. I’m still scared (how deep the beliefs of “I am not enough this or that/ I should have more of this/that run!)
    My 30 year high school reunion is coming up shortly and of course the stocktaking along with it – and yes I do ask myself, why do I want to go? (It’s a bit disconcerting how those teenage fears of “not being good enough/pretty enough/thin enough/ popular enough” pop up! Hey, haven’t I dealt with this ages ago?) Funnily enough, from a wordly perspective I’ve managed quite ok with regard to all those crippling criteria (I am thin enough, pretty enough, popular enough and may I add, rich enough.) There, I’ve said it – how hard it’s been to acknowledge that and somehow not feel “guilty”. Of course it’s all in the eye of the beholder but in this case I choose to be the beholder!
    So what now? I have a lot more life to live and that’s why I love experiencing that the true joys of life reside in simplicity and mindfulness – that it’s completely OK to just say to everybody I’m slowing down and simplifying and not and discovering beauty all around me and inside me – it feels like a heavy weight has been lifted. Next step is to really start writing and not be so scared that it’s not good enough…

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