Having fun is motivating

I’ve recently discovered the blog of a guy called Jim Whittle who’s the recruitment guy at the company where I work. He’s only posted two articles so far but he’s a great story teller and I particularly enjoyed an entry he posted about having passion for what you do.

On a similar sort of topic I had an interesting experience today that made me think about what Jim said when I actually found a form of physical activity that I enjoyed and I realised just how motivating that is.

It’s always a struggle for me to get enough exercise because I don’t really enjoy most active activities. The problem is that I’m not very fit and I’m naturally uncoordinated (even the teachers at school used to make fun of me! :D) and I just don’t find most sports fun. I guess my brain isn’t wired that way or something. So to stop my limbs becoming completely useless I’ve been a member of a gym on and off about as long as I’ve been working because I figured it was the most scientifically efficient way to get exercise.

The problem with the gym is I really don’t enjoy being there so it’s hard to feel motivated about going. I can usually make myself go two to three times a week but if work is really stressful I find it’s really hard to force myself to do something else that I really don’t want to do when I could go straight home and do something I actually enjoy like having a nice long bath or hanging out with the people I live with.

Anyway a couple of weekends we got a PS2. I must have been the only girlfriend in the history of the world who’s ever said to their boyfriend “what do you think about buying a games console?” so he took me down to the town centre and we got one that day before I came to my senses. We also bought a dance mat because I heard that it was quite a novel way to get a bit of exercise (even if it isn’t as efficient exercise as the exercise you get at the gym).

My flatmates and I have been playing the dancing game for about a week and I’m starting to get good enough that I don’t just stand around muttering obscenities as the arrows fly past the top of the screen. This morning I decided to have a bit of a play (strictly to help work off a few of the Easter eggs I’ve eaten) and I was actually having so much fun that played for longer than that half an hour I intended to play! I felt as out of breath and tired as I usually feel at the gym, but I kept wanting to have another go just to see if I could do this one particular level a little a better (and secretly so I could experience the rush I felt at actually being able to do this one more time).

I guess this is why people who love what they do are the best people to have in a job because rather than having to make themselves go the extra mile, they’ll actually have to make themselves stop. :)

It also makes me think from a lifestyle perspective that maybe the gym isn’t actually the best choice for getting more exercise even if it is the most efficient way. Maybe I should be trying to find some other forms of exercise that aren’t as scientifically effective as the gym but are easier to perserve at because I enjoy doing them more. :)

Posted on 29 Apr 06 by Helen Emerson (last updated on 04 Sep 11).
Filed under Programming