Mood is a mirage

I know when I’m in the mood to do something. There’s no resistance. I gravitate to my interests and do it. Workout? Let's go. Write a blog post? On it. Getting things done is easy with that kind of mental tailwind.

What about during times of headwind? When I'm not in the mood at all, and I know it's in my best interest to follow through on my commitments?

I get myself in the mood.

Forcing myself to things I don't want to do sucks. I'm not gung-ho about crushing todo lists, morning routines etc. on a daily basis. But I do feel joy in having pushed myself in the interest of long term progress.

For example, I can skip out on daily guitar practice after a long day because I'm not in the mood. I'll tell myself I'm tired. It's not worth slogging away. Better to try when things feel right. I do want to play guitar though. I enjoy it very much. I want to play my favorite Black Sabbath riffs. Noodle my way to a silly solo. Achieve a sense of creative mastery.

I want the outcomes without the practice. This seems like an obvious tradeoff between a short term grind and long term satisfaction. But I've realized I can change this equation. If I pause my thoughts for brief moment, and get started with practice, I can shift myself into a different headspace.

Turn on the amp. Grab the pick. Start strumming. And soon enough I've forgotten about how tired I was in the first place. Was it ever a grind to begin with?

I'll feel like doing it when I'm doing it.