My Dog, Our Walks, And The Difference the Right Mindset Makes
I walk my dog nearly every day of the year—unless the weather prevents it. We adopted Lulu, a 5-year-old pit bull mix, from a rescue when she was seven months old. She had a tumultuous start to her life and came to us with impulse control issues and anxiety. She needs a good dose of daily exercise and mental enrichment to combat those challenges. Therefore, our walks consist of more than just short strolls around the block. Generally, we set out at a blood-pumping pace for between a half-hour and an hour and a quarter. Some days, I look forward to our trek. But on other days, it’s a chore.
During a recent excursion with Lulu, It occurred to me that whether or not I enjoy a walk depends on my mindset going into it. If I view it as merely another task that’s taking up my already limited time, I just want to “get it done.”
However, when I embrace the purpose and perks of the process, I look forward to and get fulfillment from our walk.
A physical outlet to productively vent Lulu’s energy
An opportunity to provide Lulu with mental stimulation
An opportunity to exercise Lulu’s training skills (sit at all curbs, make eye contact with me to look for direction, wait for my OK to stand and go, etc.)
The Perks of the Process
Feeling the physical exertion melt tension away
Smelling the fresh air
Smiling and exchanging “good afternoons” with the people (and other dogs) whom we pass
Stepping away from technology
Clearing my mind
Brainstorming new ideas
Noticing little details about my neighborhood that escaped my attention during my past thousands of walks
Getting in some quality cardio work in addition to the treadmill
When I shift my mindset from viewing walks as something I need to get done to reflecting on their “why” and what I’m experiencing during them, they become an energy source rather than a drain.
This revelation applies to work, too.
How to Get Past a Get It Done Frame of Mind and Build the Right Mindset
How many times have you awoken, looked at your calendar or to-do list for the day, and felt apathy or even dread about one or more tasks or assignments on your agenda? Too many to count? I relate. I also encounter those feelings when I’m in a “just get it done” mindset.
It can be tough to move out of that frame of mind. Not all projects, nor the tasks associated with them, are fun, exciting, or even pleasant.
But I find if I am mindful of the purpose and process, there’s less indifference and more fulfillment—even when tackling mundane tasks.
For example, say I allow myself to think, “I just want to get it done,” when working on content for a client’s blog article on a topic that I’m not overly familiar with or personally interested in. That mindset will set the stage for poor focus, frustration, and a less-than-stellar outcome.
However, when I instead shape my frame of mind by focusing on the purpose and what the process brings to the table, it creates a new view.
Helping a valued client achieve their marketing and SEO goals
An opportunity to expand my knowledge, thus increasing my value to the client
Revenue that will help me achieve my earnings goal
The Perks of the Process
Exercising the talent I’ve been blessed with
Discovering new knowledge and broadening my horizons
Getting closer to accomplishing all that I’ve set out to achieve for the day/week
Generating income to go into our savings account so we can buy that Winnebago Minnie travel trailer we’ve had our eyes on
This sort of mindfulness helps me increase my mental engagement, work more enthusiastically, and create my best work for the client. It provides a sense of accomplishment and pride in my work because I did more than just get it done.
What’s On Your Mind?
Building the right mindset requires making up your mind to shift your perspective.
How would you apply the purpose and process to a task or project you’re currently working on? Have you discovered other ways to shift your mindset from just “getting it done” to one that’s more productive and satisfying? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
2 comments on “Getting It Done Vs. Embracing the Purpose”
I view my role as more than an independent contractor for hire — I become a part of your team. You’ll find that I dig into the details to understand what’s important to you — and your customers. I embrace collaboration, communicate openly, and craft content to help you achieve your marketing and business goals. Read More...
Hi Dawn, Great post – it is very hard to live in the moment with so many distractions, tasks and problems to deal with. A wonderful book that helped me achieve the attitude you describe here was “Peace Is Every Step,” by Thich Nhat Hanh. It’s easy to read, beautiful and powerful. It is one of a handful of books that really changed my life.
Hi Brad! It’s great to hear from you. ? Thank you for reading and for the book recommendation — I’ve just ordered it from Amazon and look forward to reading it (as I sip on a latte made with the milk frother I added to my cart when ordering the book)!