Why I Love Not Doing What I Want

I love not doing what I want. … Allow me to explain:

Sometimes I want to check Facebook even when I just left the site three seconds ago. If I exercise my executive function and say no, I feel powerful. Almost like I’m making a good decision.

But it’s not like I’m making a good decision…I am. Because there are only so many minutes in a day. And if I want to live an extraordinary life, I have to fill most of my minutes with extraordinary things. Facebook…twitter…instagrizzle…those are all conspicuously absent from my extraordinary list.

Every time I get the urge to break my focus and check email, I check myself. Then I ask if it’s really necessary. 99% of the time, it’s really not. Then I feel a surge of maturity flowing through my frontal lobe and I channel it into the million and one tiny things I have to do to live the life I want and to be the man I want to be.

Since I give myself a list of goals to attack every morning, I’m never short of these things. If I can’t find something better to do than FaceBeak (do you like the Facebook twitter portmanteau?) then I have a serious personal problem.

But the pleasure of not doing what I want isn’t limited to twitter visits that never were…

There are times I want to call my friends and family crazy names. They frustrate me. But just as that “ass-goblin” is about to slide off my tongue, I catch myself. And I think,

These people have been here for me in my lowest moments. They’re the reason for 99% of the joy in my life, and I’m going to flip out on them?

Then I think of all my fuckups, and I bite my tongue. Instead of burning a bridge, I renew my appreciation for them while reminding myself that I’m the very last person to cast the first stone. Oh, and I feel super, super mature—almost like I’m growing up. Except I am growing up.

Are you beginning to see the benefits? They don’t stop there though…

I need exercise to feel somewhat sane. But sometimes I don’t wanna. More than that, I want to intertwine my strands of DNA with the fibers of my couch. (Wait..that could get weird with all the dog hair…)

I’ll indulge the thought of hiring a trained silverback to make all of my movements for me. Then I get off my Lebanese butt and do what makes me happy—even if it’s not exactly what I want to do. And as I’m grunting, and crunching, and panting, and sweating, I feel pride. Wait, that could just be my burning thighs. No, it’s definitely pride. And when I look in the mirror at the body I work hard for, I thank myself for not doing what I want.

I love not doing what I want because it allows me to do what I need. And those are the things that made me a success when everybody had written me off. Today I make a living through my passion. And it’s what I need.

If you did less of what you wanted and more of what you needed, where could you be in a year?


Written by Daniel Dowling
I went from being a highschool and college dropout to writing for the world's best publications in two short years. I owe ALL my success to habits like mindfulness and journaling. - So I built Millennial Success to share those incredible habits with you!