What do you do when you “don’t feel like it” and still have to make something?

Forcing yourself hardly works.

Read on for a better path…

A blank page demands, “What worthwhile thing could you possibly have to say?”

The resting piano keys ask, “How can you possibly improve on silence?”

The pressure to be creative can easily stop us in our tracks.

Particularly for those with ADHD and other Wandering Minds, we might fall into the seductive trappings of:

“I don’t feel like it”.

We might even use science against ourselves saying, “I don’t have the dopamine” or “It’s not inherently interesting, and therefore I can’t do it.”

We might recall the times when it all flowed, piano rhythms bouncing between mind and fingers, words merging effortlessly into the page, …

Many experience the wonders of a muse, a billowing creativity where self and work found each other in tune. Each step is both discovery and motion towards completion. What might have been hard, is now a welcome challenge.

But when the stars don’t align, the next shiny show, interest, or hobby beckons. Drifting off, the momentum of any previous practice dissipates, and we one day wonder, where did it go?

A story I’ve often said comes from my dear piano teacher of my youth. After a week when it had become apparent that I hadn’t practiced at all, she said, with deep understanding:

“No matter how tired you feel, no matter how much homework you’ve got, even if you have the flu, at least touch the keys every day.”

There are two vital components here. One is simply about being there. If you can be at the work, the craft, or the field of knowledge, not necessarily doing anything, you expose yourself to the emotions involved.

Instead of waiting for a mythical “right time”, “right energy” or “when I feel like it”, we show up. When we do, it becomes apparent that we would never “feel like it” prior to showing up. Instead, we can sometimes tune into the work, bringing our mindset, our energy in sync with the work *as we are there*.

Secondly, she says to do this “every day”.

I swear, there is magic to doing something daily. It must connect to a primal circadian clock, resonating throughout every cell that has experienced the day for as long as the earth has been spinning.

When I show up everyday, regardless of how well the practice goes, I discover that I support the days that do go well. More than just waiting for a “good day”, I make the good days better days.

Nearly 45 years into practicing now, there are still days of “bleh”.

But I know, I don’t have to force myself.

I only need to show up.

– Kourosh

PS If you’re interested in a relaxing hour of piano music, I’ve been performing live to Youtube/Second Life nearly every Saturday at 10am CT for over 15 years now. Set an alert for yourself and stop on by. It goes well with breakfast and tea.