Thinking Makes It So: A very long Gatorade commercial

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By Kelly LeVan

At first, it’s just something you do: a hobby, something to do instead of watching TV in the evenings, a way to exercise, an excuse to meet new people or a means to escape from an unhappy home. You begin slowly, allowing a modest addition to your regular schedule, maybe once a week. You don’t talk about it much, except maybe with close friends. You’re not even sure if you like it. You don’t, at this point, change how you think of yourself.Basically, one of three futures unfolds:1. Passivity: You drift away from the new interest because it turns out you liked the oversimplified idea of doing it more than the effortful reality. You have no talent for it. You lack enthusiasm. You get bored.This has happened to me countless times. I have gotten so excited about growing my own herbs, joining activist organizations, studying biochemistry, taking singing lessons, studying psychology, building furniture, playing violin – but actually doing any of these doesn’t excite me at all.Here’s a specific example: When I imagine myself sliding the bow regally across an A string, my fingers deft as the wind and an appreciative audience moved to tears by my tremulous B-flat, I have such a summer breeze. However, when I open my violin case and practice, I don’t enjoy it at all.

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