Living in Willingness
Sometimes we say yes when we do not know what else to say.
What if you could manage to only do and experienced things that you are really enthusiastic about?
Instead of saying "yes" right away, when we receive a request (an offer, a demand, coercion, a bid, an incentive, or really anything), we can try asking ourselves:
The Willingness Scale
Why am I saying yes to this? What would this give me that I value?
(Will it give me anything I value?) How do I feel about this?
Unpacking the Scale
Left on the above diagram is 10/10 willingness on the below scale
Right on the above diagram is 0/10 willingness on the below scale
*Note the colors here are an approximate match. The printable version has better color matching & may be more readable for you.
10) I really want it!! This will make my life more wonderful!!
9) I want to try it! Let’s experiment! This just might make my life more wonderful!
8) I’m unsure but I do want to try it
=== (Above this line, I at least partially do it for me; Below this line, I do it for others) ===
7) I really want others to enjoy it! I feel good knowing that they feel good!
I’m wholeheartedly willing to do this for someone else. I can see this is important for this person. I want the joy of giving!
====== (Above this line, I am willing. Below this line, I am upset as I do this) =====
6) I’m afraid of getting in the way of others getting what they really want. So, I’m doing what is being asked of me.
5-4) I feel like I “have to” do this. I “must” do this. I “should” do this. If I don’t do this, something bad will happen. I am doing this out of fear… I’m not connected with how this will serve my life.
====== (Above this line, I am ready to act. Below this line, I am choosing to pause) =====
3) Maybe I’ll do something similar, but not quite this.
2) Maybe I chose to do this differently. Maybe I want to take some time to understand why this might be important. Maybe, I’ll do this another time. Maybe I won’t do this at all.
0-1) I won’t do this. I want some distance from this possibility occurring
Set aside 30 minutes to consider this scale and the implications on how you’ve been living.
Here are a few invitations to try over the next two weeks. I recommend only trying one of them at a time.
Pausing to Check Your Current Willingness While Acting
Alternate approach (skip steps 4&5 above and try this instead):
4. Take a deep breath. Consider what you were just doing. What level of willingness do you have to do this activity?
5. If the answer is not a 1 or a 2, set a timer on your phone for 2 minutes. Brainstorm how you can change the activity so that you are doing it with more willingness. Rank your willingness to try these new ideas. If you have a willingness for at least one option of 1, 2, or 3, spend 5 minutes doing the version you have the highest willingness for.
6. If none of the ideas you write down seem appealing (at a level 10-7 of willingness), then ask yourself: what needs is this action meeting for me? This might be a need for safety or financial security. Those are very real needs. Explore the needs list for other examples.
Pausing to Fully Receive a Request
If you found this helpful or have suggestions on how to make this better, I’d love to know!
I’d feel especially honored if you are willing to share any notes from trying the practices.
(More coming soon!)