This task is unpleasant, but it must be done

A key to happiness is doing what you don’t enjoy. (That is, doing cheerfully and promptly what must be done but is not pleasant.)

According to Edwin Bliss

The most significant difference between effective and ineffective people is that the ineffective person habitually thinks, “This task must be done, but it is unpleasant; therefore I will put it off as long as I can,” whereas the effective person habitually thinks, “This task is unpleasant, but it must be done; therefore I will do it now so I can forget about it.”


Instead of trying to revolutionize your entire approach, just force yourself right now to do one thing you have been putting off.

He recommends making it a habit to start each day by doing the most unpleasant item on your to-do list. (Not the most important.)

Every time you are given an unpleasant chore you will itch to get at it, so that you can get that euphoric feeling that comes from promptly disposing of a nasty task.

According to William James

Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than its difficulty, so that, when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. Asceticism of this sort is like the insurance which a man pays on his house and goods. The tax does him no good at the time, and possibly may never bring him a return. But, if the fire does come, his having paid it will be his salvation from ruin. So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.

A habit is formed like a lost wax mold in which the beeswax sculpture is covered in liquid clay which becomes hardened by the fire that melts away the wax. A habit is first beeswax, then fire-hardened clay, then finally bronze to last the centuries.

More blog entries about Effectiveness.


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