Doing vs. Having Done.
On the web I have seen Dorothy Parker and Gloria Steinem and William Zinsser and Oscar Madison and Ernest Hemingway all attributed as having said, “I don’t like writing, I like having written.” (I couldn’t figure out the “real” author…)
What I want us to do is to play a sort of Mad Libs-type game of “switch the verb.”
There are many activities that we like having done, but don’t particularly like doing.
- I don’t like ____(process)______,
I like having ____(result)_____.
Here’s a list of some of mine:
- I don’t like exercising, I like having exercised.
- I don’t like cleaning the house, I like having cleaned.
- I don’t like paying my bills, I like having paid bills.
- I don’t like doing emotional growth work, I like having done emotional growth work.
This is a problem we all face in our lives . . . not wanting to have to do the tough stuff.
What are the things in your life you would rather be done with?
Chances are, one or two of them are things you know you ought to be doing . . .
For encouragement, I would like to quote Robert Frost,
The best way out is always through.
I pray that we each have the courage to persevere until we reach the place where the tasks we need to do are no longer looming in front of us, and we can be proud in having done them.
A web version of this article is available here.
This article was also posted at Street Prophets.