I’ve found myself repeating this phrase a lot. When I am supposed to go to the gym but don’t feel like it. I don’t want to, but that’s why I will. When I have a task at work that I’m dreading? I don’t want to, but that’s why I will. When it’s time to stop playing video games so I can get literally anything done on my to do list. I don’t want to, but that’s why I will.

I’m not really sure when or why I started telling myself this. I think it’s something that derived from a quote that I really liked that Warren Buffett said in a diner in the Netflix Documentary series “Inside Bill’s Brain” – “If something’s the thing to do, you do it.” This was a really simple comment, but it really stuck with me, and I think it really shifted my mentality around work and work-like tasks.

I’ve found that it’s been very helpful with overcoming some of those initial feelings around not wanting to do things. Now, I don’t say this about everything that I don’t want to do. There are things that past me, present me, and future me all seem to agree on as things I don’t want to do. Those things, I just don’t do. But the things that past me promised future me? Well, that’s when present me does it because it needs to be done. Even though I don’t want to, that’s why I will.

I wish this mentality that I’ve managed to adopt is something that I could more easily share. There are people in my life that I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and money into, in an effort to help them grow beyond their current situation and get into rewarding careers. Tens of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of hours spent trying to help them, answering questions, finding things that would help them, working on things together.

But I feel like the people that I’ve been trying to help each struggle with the same thing. At some point, they will say “I don’t want to do that”, and then they quit. I don’t know if I’m just a masochist, but I had to do a lot of things I didn’t want to do to get where I am in life. The majority of them even made me better for having done them. If I had quit the first time I encountered something I didn’t want to do, I probably wouldn’t have graduated high school. But it feels almost toxic to tell people that they have to do things they don’t want to do in order to change their lives. Even if it’s true.

It’s become very frustrating and difficult to support these people, and I’ve definitely had to adjust my willingness to over-extend myself for their benefit. I just want to see my friends and family succeed in their goals and dreams. But I guess I can’t do much but sit back and watch them try to find their own way.

I don’t want to, but that’s why I will.