I am young. Not young at heart alone I mean! However, as a gift of my genes, I started greying when I was much younger, when I was in school. Over time the number of grey strands was beyond my capacity to count. And I had to begin colouring my hair at my loved ones’ behest! For the longest time, I kept cribbing about it because I saw it as a long, boring task to be done on a regular basis.
However, there are 2 incidents that clearly helped me reframe. Once, when someone was colouring my hair, I began my cribbing session saying it’s such a pain. The other person immediately said with a big smile, “you know you are lucky that you at least got hair to colour. There are many who don’t even have it.” I was dumbstruck. I thought, yes, so true! I do have a lot to be grateful for. That I have hair, and I have an opportunity to colour it in whatever colour I like.
The second instance, I was casually chatting with a dear friend. And again, I said, “this hair colouring stuff, I find it such a task. I wish I didn’t have to do it”. She looked up at me surprised and said, “What? Really? I love colouring my hair!” Now it was my turn to be surprised. I said, “What? Really?” She said, “Yeah! I love to colour my hair and see it black.” I thought to myself, “Wow”! The same task, the same effect, a simple difference in the way we look at it, and it changes the entire perspective. I was also colouring to make my hair black. But instead of being happy that I have a way to make my hair black, I was thinking, why should I have to colour it at all. Why couldn’t it be naturally black! I was cribbing about the glass being half empty. She was thankful for the glass being half full. And it made so much of a difference. She enjoyed doing it! So she did it more regularly, more joyfully and her hair always looked nice. I looked at it as a task, so I tried avoiding and postponing it till people started commenting about it. And it began to look untidy to my own eyes – half grey, half black, uneven. And then reluctantly, I’d decide to colour it one day finally. And eventually, do it – all along with thinking of how much time and efforts I am having to spend on it. Finally, after it was all done, I’d look at my hair and say, “Oh nice! It really makes a huge difference. It all looks uniform and nice now!” I enjoyed the final destination when I got there. But I cribbed all along in the journey. My friend enjoyed the entire process in eager anticipation of the destination.
What a huge difference! And what a beautiful way to look at the simple, so-called mundane tasks and make them enjoyable too. Keeping the outcome in mind, keeping what we want in mind, if we go about anything in life, I think we’ll find it all worth! We would love doing all that we are doing because the end outcome is so clear. Such a simple life hack! It’s important to know (1) why we are doing whatever we are doing, and more importantly, (2) where do we want to head or what is the outcome behind our pursuit. With these two things in mind, we’ll stop viewing things as a sacrifice or raw deal or a chore. We’ll begin to see the larger purpose behind all our actions. Also, to remind ourselves (3) what do we love the most about what we already have and keep counting our blessings as we go along. Counting our blessing helps a ton in keeping ourselves motivated and marching forward even under adverse circumstances. The example above may be trivial and debatable. But that aside, just drawing this in the larger context of life, when we try to do anything, what we focus on and how we go about it makes a lot of difference.