What we want to vs. what we have to do

There is no such thing as “I have to do this.” But the alternative is to deal with the consequences.

Last week was exhausting. I had a midterm on Friday and the whole week I kept thinking: “I am so exhausted. I don’t want anything but sleep, but I have to keep going. I need to study.” But when the midterm was over and I had some time to make new to do lists and think about my whole situation I noticed a few things.

  • My real problem was my mindset
  • I wanted to study. I did not want to be sleeping or binging TV
  • But I couldn’t, because I was so tired
  • I’m not tired because of the workload, I am tired because of my mindset and the season

The more we force ourselves to do stuff, we don’t feel like wanting to do, the more tired we get mentally and the less energy we have. Often we just need to remember, why we want to do something. And remember, that we really don’t have to do it, if we don’t want to. This is a very empowering shift in mindset. It allows us to get back in control.

The other problem is the season. There are really nice aspects to it: it is cuddly weather and we get to wear the comfy clothes and drink tea and hot coco all Sunday long. It is perfectly acceptable to just stay in bed and do nothing for a little. We get chestnuts and gingerbread, chocolates and cookies. We light the scented candles and start listening to all the beautiful winter songs again. On the other hand there is the darkness and the cold. We get a Vitamin D deficiency. We dial back our physical activity. And this is what makes us so tired. For me there really just is one thing: more working out and a better sleep schedule. It gives a sense of control and it battles the exhaustion.

And again: we do not have to work out. But I want to. Because I want to study. And I want to be confident. And I want to have energy. And I know that regular work-outs will provide all those things.

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