The Three Modalities of Awakened Doing
Updated: Nov 10, 2017
In his book, A New Earth, author Eckhart Tolle describes a new way of viewing the activities in your daily life. He calls this structure “The Three Modalities of Awakened Doing”. He states that in order to live a good life, everything we do should be approached with one of these three attitudes.
The lowest state is acceptance. Acceptance is appropriate for those activities that are monotonous, unpleasant, or just not that exciting, but still need to be accomplished.
“My toilet needs to be cleaned, so I accept that I need to clean my toilet today.”
The next level is enjoyment. Some things in life give us pleasure, and we look forward to doing them.
“I am so happy to clean my toilet today. It gives me such pleasure!”
The highest level is enthusiasm. These are activities that we anticipate doing, give us great fulfillment, and connect with our life purpose.
“I can’t wait to get home and clean my toilet today! In fact, I want to buy a bigger house so I can have more toilets to clean!”
If you face a particular task with the attitudes of hate, bitterness, resentment, shame, pain, or guilt, you have a choice. You can move the task into one of three modalities, at the least into an attitude of acceptance, or you should eliminate it from your life. You can get someone else to do it. You can find technology to help. In any case, your life will be happier.
“My maid comes today to clean my toilet!”
How do tasks get into a particular category? We choose to put them there. We have the ability to take something that we currently face with acceptance, and transform it into enjoyment, or even enthusiasm. When we are enthusiastic, we cause others to become enthusiastic. Think of a weekly staff meeting that people face with acceptance (or even lower). Can you develop a strategy to help people attend the meeting with enjoyment? What could you do to help people even be enthusiastic about attending a weekly staff meeting? (Cash payouts come to mind!)
So, the next time you are faced with a chore that you don’t like, see how high up the scale you can go. If you do become enthusiastic about cleaning toilets, you are welcome to visit me anytime!