Playing infinite games (those which aren’t played to win, but for the purpose of continuing to play) is only a good idea if the game offers long term fulfillment.
In contrast, there are some finite games worth playing even if they aren’t particularly enjoyable at the time.
Usually, these finite games are wrapped up within infinite games.
Framing them through the lens of the infinite games they inhabit can make it easier to overcome short term resistance for the sake of continuing infinite play.
Showing up to the gym even though you’re sore, writing on the days you want to do anything but and getting out of bed at 5am to do so are all finite games which don’t feel worthwhile in the moment but, over time, contribute to the infinte game of living a healthy, rewarding and productive life.
Making the bed is usually the last thing on my mind in the morning.
If I’m not rushing to the gym, I’m usually calculating how long it will take to get changed and brush my teeth as I try to figure out whether or not I have enough time to scoff breakfast before leaving the house.
Obviously, this is far from an ideal morning routine.
(I’m working on it)
We should make our beds in the morning not just because it feels better to come home to at the end of the day, but because the feeling of accomplishment associated is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for a productive morning; which can snowball all the way throughout your day.
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
Making your bed is a low hanging fruit; you can enjoy significant benefit despite the fact it takes next to no time or energy.
When we’re able to build habits around these low hanging fruit, the little effort it does take to accomplish them reduces even further. So much so, that eventually you won’t even have to think about them.
Making your bed after you wake up should be as intuitive as washing your hands after you use the bathroom; if it’s not completely automatic, something is probably wrong.
Build habits around the small things you can do which provide the largest benefits, and you’ll be constantly generating your own wellbeing.
What’s your low hanging fruit?
Have you always kind of wanted to meditate, but never got around to it?
Ever wanted to exercise more often, but just couldn’t seem to muster the motivation?
Want to be a writer, but never find the time to write?
Treat yourself like a professional, and do the work. Then keep doing the work until it doesn’t feel like work anymore.
These things take ten minutes out of your morning. Unless you’re a parent to young children, (in which case, why are you even here? Go get some rest) there is really no excuse.
A doctor washes her hands before every surgery whether her hands are dirty or not.
It’s not something she thinks about doing, it’s something she does.
That’s what a professional does.
I don’t want an authentic surgeon who says, “I don’t really feel like doing knee surgery today.” I want a professional who shows up whatever they feel like.
We have to hold ourselves accountable to building these habits, especially around the things we care about.
I don’t yet make my bed every morning, but I will. Because I care about having good days.
I didn’t used to write every day, now I do. Because I care about my practice.
This stuff is simple, but far from easy. The ball is in your court.
Don’t ever stop striving to be a work in progress.