Why Doing What You Love is Good for You
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Why Doing What You Love is Good for YouStop doing unfulfilling things with these tips from John C. Parkin
It’s the time of the year when our thoughts start turning to how we can improve our health through better habits. However, beyond the diets and exercise plans, the yoga and the meditation, not many people tend to think about Doing What They Love as a way to improve their health. But I’d like to suggest that you make Doing What You Love a priority, as it can be very good for your health.
Agnes Theresa Turk (known as Midge because of her short stature) was born in Los Angeles in 1930. As a girl, she worked as an extra in more than 100 films, including opposite Shirley Temple. But when she was 18, she decided to turn her back on her buzzing life, and her boyfriend, to become a nun with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
By all accounts Sister Agnes Marie, as she was known, thrived, and loved the life of service. But in her mid-30s she became frustrated with the church leaders’ inability to meet the needs of the impoverished community she was working with. She became depressed and exhausted, and in the end, she actually went blind.
So, at the age of 36, having been a nun for half her life, Sister Agnes Marie took the unusual step of asking to be released from her vows. And, once she’d made this decision to leave the order, she regained her sight completely. Wow. She went on to lead a full and long life (and didn’t lose her sight again).
Midge Turk Richardson provides an extreme example of the possible deleterious effects of not doing what you love. She was clearly a vivacious (in the sense of ‘full of life’), powerful woman who, when she wasn’t able to do what she loved (i.e. help her community), actually lost her sight.
The truth is that we all know, if we pause to think about it, that Doing What We Love is good for us. Or, we at least know that doing things that we don’t enjoy, or that stress us out, is not good for us. In fact, both western and eastern medicines support this idea: that stress makes us ill.
So, I’ll take you through a couple of lines of thinking to bring you to the same point – the realisation that Doing What You Love is good for you.
Firstly, being happy is good for you. Many studies demonstrate this. And guess what Doing What You Love rather than doing what you don’t love does for you? Yes, it makes you happier. In fact, there were some great studies done by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi about happiness.
He found that people were happiest when they were ‘in flow’, and that was when they were doing something they loved that absorbed them completely – and these were usually creative activities, or sports. So he suggested that if you wanted to become happier you should find activities in which you’d get into this ‘flow’, i.e. activities in which you were doing what you loved. And if, as many studies show, being happy is good for you, then doing what you love and getting into Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘flow’ is good for you.
Secondly, being relaxed is good for you. Again, numerous studies demonstrate this. It’s one of the main reasons why yoga, Tai Chi and meditation are good for you. But you don’t have to go from your office to the yoga studio to improve your health. Because doing what you love relaxes you. Again, it’s common sense when you think about it. Just imagine how you feel when you’re trying to get through doing something you hate compared to really enjoying doing something you love.
And there’s a way of testing this too. We use muscle testing, or ‘Applied Kinesiology’ a lot. You get to test how strong you are when you have certain thoughts. And you are stronger around something when you are more relaxed (because the energy in the body is flowing more). And we find that people are much stronger (and thus more relaxed) when they think about doing something they love, than when they think about something they really don’t like doing.
The same principles are applied in any lie detector test. Such a test is assessing how ‘stressed’ (ie. not relaxed) you are. It seems it’s impossible to stay relaxed when you lie, but easy to do so when you’re telling the truth. Doing something you hate is effectively like lying to yourself and is thus stressful, whereas Doing What You Love is you living in your truth, and thus relaxing.
So, from the common-sense realisations that we have, to the scientifically demonstrable, living a life where we do more of what we love is good for us.
So when you set your resolutions to get healthier, feel free to think about your diet and exercise plans, but put something else to the top of the list, something that you’ll probably find more enjoyable anyway: Doing More of What You Love, every day of your life.
And use ‘F**k It’ to help you do so too: you’ll sure need it. Whenever the call of the dreary obligation is calling, use ‘F**k It’ to get you back to doing what you love. When you’re feeling worried about failing in doing something you love, say ‘F**k It’ and jump in and do it.
But before all that, it’s worth asking yourself something – “Am I Doing What I Love?” Go on, be honest. I’ve created a quick questionnaire for you to see how much you are doing what you love (and how much you’re going to need the help of ‘F**k It’ to do more of what you love). It’s here – www.thefuckitlife.com/dowhatyoulove