Do you have to exercise or do you get to exercise? Do you have to work on that long project or do you get to work on that long project? Do you have to rise at 5:30, or do you get to rise at 5:30 so you can have a good start on the day?
There are many things we may not directly choose — for example, I exercise primarily for my health, and not because I intrinsically enjoy it. But given that we will be doing them, we might as well change our mindset and view them positively.
That way, these things aren’t something we have to “get out of the way” in order to get on with “real life.” First of all, that’s a recipe for procrastination. Second and more importantly, though, I don’t have time to fill my life with things that aren’t “real life.”
When your mindset is “I get to” rather than “I have to,” you are more motivated because now you are doing it because you choose to. You will also find that there are many aspects of those activities that you do in fact enjoy, in spite of the difficulty.
You don’t have to run — or do that project — simply for the benefits. Difficult activities aren’t something to just get out of the way so that you can get on with what you really want to do. But you won’t see that if your mindset is “I have to.”