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the hidden agenda behind "just because"

Posted Mar 09 2011 10:56pm

PTC, I wish doing something "just because" was as easy as it could be.

Our culture doesn't look so favorably on doing something just because- we're so set on being "productive" (more is better, working harder is better... take your laptop and cellphone on vacation so you can check in with work...in other words, don't rest, don't have too much fun, don't let down, because you should at some level always be working- being "productive"). And, yes, I do realize that's an enormous overgeneralization... but there's some truth in it.

And we know people who suffer from eating disorders feel especially compelled to "not be lazy" and to "be useful" and "productive" and "prove" they're doing the best that's possible and the absolute best that they can. Heaven forbid you might be seen as "frivolous" and "not taking things seriously."

So, doing things just because doesn't usually come all that easy. It's awesome if it does for you, PTC.

Just because is what it says, right? Just because; just for pure enjoyment; just for pure pleasure; just because we simply feel like it at the moment... just because.  

And here's something for us all to keep an eye out for when we're doing something just because: a sneaky little hidden agenda that squeaks in behind (or underneath or beside or in the middle of...) our thought that we're doing the thing wholly "just because." 

I bet you guys totally have seen this sneaky little guy worm its way in- something like this: say the just because thing we're interested in is walking home a slightly different way than we usually do. We are interested in this alternate direction because it's prettier. There's a gorgeous tree blooming on the block and we really want to see it. Cool. It's all good, right? Maybe. The "on the face of it" reason seems fine. If you took a lie detector test it'd show we were telling the truth- we do want to see that pretty tree.

AND, we'd also better look underneath to see if there's anything lurking... gee, what could be lurking? How about- not only does the alternate route have a gorgeous tree on it... but, lo and behold- it's a half a mile longer than our usual route. A half mile more walking! Wow! What do you know? We may be interested in seeing the tree, but it wasn't lost on us for a millisecond that we'd get a bit of extra exercise in on the way home. Sneaky little wormy agenda!

That's just one example. There are SO many more. And they can have to do with anything, not just exercise or eating.

I'm not saying that when you guys do something "just because" you aren't doing it for real or in good faith. Of course you are. AND, watch out because sometimes there's more going on than meets the eye :)

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