On doing things

On by Mitesh Shah

Some things are inherently tough. Some things appear to be, and some things we assume to be tough. But when does something actually become hard? Isn’t the degree of ‘something’ just an illusion? Because after all, it depends on nothing but our own resilience.

There are several ‘jobs’ or mini activities we do every single day; like say for example, cleaning our room, going to school, checking email, eating food, listening to music, organizing your notes, and countless more. We don’t rate each of these equally. Our brain already knows the priority, subconsciously. But since our life is an aggregation of several of these little jobs, we must strive to prioritize them more consciously.

We do these jobs for some kind of reward. May it simply be the satisfaction of doing, or completing it. Or for a thousand more reasons, but a reason nonetheless. Why is it that we judge these tasks so unjustly. We never think about them mindfully, we have presumptions about every single one of them. Some tasks, like cleaning our room, inadvertently appear to be daunting. But others like listening to music, or watching TV don’t. On the contrary, if I had only 5 minutes of free time before I had to go do something else, it would be much more easier to just clean my room, which is definitely doable in 5mins if done every few days, rather than firing up an episode of Modern family. And since it can be done in so less time, almost a fourth of watching an entire T.V. episode, it surely must be easier.

Then when does a job truly become difficult? I think, that it becomes difficult when you subconsciously feel that the reward it reaps is not worth it when compared to a ‘junk-job’ providing instant gratification.

So what if we started prioritizing our tasks more consciously? What if we thought through why we chose to act and do things before actually doing them. Maybe tons of daily entertainment is not what we need to feel full, maybe it provides us with a sense of achievement which we fail to obtain form other parts of out life. Maybe we can take a more rational approach. And maybe we can still feel satisfied.


Authors notes:

Providing some context on what led me to think the above prose. I played a game called ‘Runescape’ when I was small, and I absolutely adored it. I gradually shifted away from it, but decided to try it again this week, simply out of curiosity and nostalgia. Well, enough said, I got hooked on to it. I wasted almost a week just playing it and having the time of my life. I absolutely do not think that it was a waste. It’s OKAY to enjoy once in a while, after all I did manage to stay game-free for about 3 months before this week. But I started prioritizing the RuneScape-job much higher than the jobs I used to give more priority, like programming and watching South Park (and shamefully, even having a bath).

This got me thinking. And I thought about everything from a different perspective, I tried to mentally jot down all the inputs and outputs of me doing this RuneScape-job. It turns out, it’s not that much different than watching South Park or listening to music, except that this is much more active and social. There is a sense of achievement in getting that Level 80 Ranged or slaying 1000s of monsters. A sense of achievement which I’ve been lacked of in my life lately.

I used to hack around softwares, websites, and write scrips to do all sort of crazy stuff. That was extremely fun and satisfying, not to mention extremely insightful. I haven’t been doing that in the past month, thanks to my rather busy schedule, which , I believe, led me to take refuge in RuneScape as my primary source of satisfaction and Achievement.

But now that I consciously and mindfully broke it down into pieces, I get it. I can see the bigger picture. I can consciously chose to play RuneScape for only a few hours every week and keep everything balanced while enjoying the nostalgia and the fun which it provides.