“I don’t wanna” feelings can hit strong.

Not only when trying to do work but sometimes even with those things we’d normally enjoy.

One psychiatrist, Dr. William Dodson, described several emotions that can help us engage:

1. Challenge
2. Interest
3. Novelty
4. Urgency
5. Passion

Together, we can remember these, as one student had suggested, as the “CHIN-UP” emotions.

The idea is that if we can find one of these emotions within our work, we have a better chance of moving forward.

Great. Problem solved, right?

Likely not. Let’s take a closer look.

Why do these emotions work?

Together, they represent emotions of the Now, where we feel things as present and real, at least in some primal, foundational sense of being alive.

While rationally, we might encourage ourselves by saying we “should be” interested in something or create a false deadline to invoke urgency, neither method works.

I have never won an argument with an emotion. If I did, “snap out of it” and “just start” would work, and I’d be out of business as a psychiatrist.

Still, our ability to create an image in mind of what is different-than-the-Now is one of humanity’s greatest strengths.

But it is between our depths of emotion and powers of vision, where we can begin creating the bridges from where we are to where we want to be.

When challenged, we are neither over- nor under-stimulated. In between, we can find a Window of Challenge and possibly the start of a session.

When interested, we may already see that Window of Challenge, a tendril of growth and play ready to emerge.

Novelty offers discovery. But it is what we bring with ourselves from the past that gives the novel its shine. We look for the patterns we know and see where they fit with the patterns we are now encountering.

Urgency involves a threat of loss under the pressure of time. Some may deliberately delay until this emotion reaches a fervor. I much prefer to avoid this route when possible due to its stressful and unpredictable nature.

Passion is about nurturing play’s momentum, engaged in a rhythm of days. Whether in an infancy of a few weeks or in a prime of twenty years, we can develop ways to garden and strengthen that passion over time, by creating bridges between the Now and the Not Now.

Thankfully, a Visit-based approach to work can offer not only exactly that, but a means of measuring and and maybe even dosing each of these emotions.

– Kourosh

PS Consider learning how to better engage the CHIN-UP emotions to help you not only get through your days, but to get to the things that matter to you most. You can start with the Waves of Focus, a Visit-based system to help the powerful wandering mind and engage with an honesty of self. Download the first module for free here.