Amy Rees Anderson

Nothing Is Troublesome That We Do Willingly

Yesterday I posted a blog that shared 10 Rules For The Good. After posting it I couldn’t seem to get one of the ten rules out of my head. It was rule number seven on the list which states that “Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.”

It struck me because too often I find myself looking at each tasks I have as “a burden that has to get done” as opposed to seeing it as “something I am privileged to have the opportunity to do”.  So I decided to take a few minutes to step back and attempt look at things differently. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to describe each one of the tasks on my list as a privilege that “I get to do” rather than a burden that “I have to do”.  I figured i should start with describing the most mundane task and then I could work my way up to more complex tasks on my list.

Washing the dishes seemed like a mundane enough place to start and its’s definitely a task that feels like s a burden.  How could I possibly see i nl e Now what could I find in washing the dishes that would turn it into a privilege? “Well”, I thought, “being able to stand at the sink to wash the dishes is a privilege because if I didn’t have legs that functioned I wouldn’t be able to do that. And having two hands that were able to hold the dishes and scrub is a privilege because it means my hands are functioning properly. And I can’t overlook that having eyes to be able to see the dishes as I scrubbed them is a privilege because not everyone is able to see.” And then I realized that having running water at all to be able to wash my dishes was a privilege…and having a sink inside a home with air-conditioning is a privilege…I found the list of privileges that were associated with my ability to wash the dishes was getting longer and longer…

That one list grew so long that I found myself feeling utterly embarrassed that I hadn’t thought about all the privileges associated with simply being ale to wash my disheses. In fact I was too embarrassed to even question why other, more elaborate tasks on my list, were a privilege…at this point it had become obvious…

When we have tasks that seem troublesome, stop and consider the privilege it is just to be able to do that task and you will find it is much easier to do it willingly.

Have a beautiful day!

~Amy Rees Anderson


  • Leslie Rees says:

    And after spending time in a third world country you really realize that dirty dishes meant you not only HAVE dishes, but you had food to eat that made the dishes dirty in the first place. It’s so easy for most of us to just assume we will eat at all! Let alone that most of us in this land eat two or three good meals a day. You’re right..the list goes on and on, and it is so easy to just assume others have those same privileges. Counting one’s blessings is the best exercise of all. Enjoyed your blog.

  • Grateful says:

    Thank you for your interpretation. This is the one Canon I couldn’t quite wrap my head around and the context you’ve given it is lovely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Now Available
What Awesome Looks Like: How to Excel in Business and Life
by Amy Rees Anderson
Order Your Copy
Recent Posts
Follow Me

Get Amy's Blog posts sent in your inbox

Subscribe to RSS Feed for Amy's blog


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers