Things We Like Doing


In Letters to Children, a book composed of C.S. Lewis’s letters to his youngest correspondents, he writes this to his goddaughter, Sarah:

Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has got to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing–but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.

I have written before of the significance of doing the things one likes doing–an idea I find sounds a little self-centered at first glance. But it doesn’t mean putting aside the things you ought to do or the things you’ve got to do. It means putting aside the things you do that you don’t like to do, that simply waste time; like scrolling through facebook for longer than you intended, or watching the next show because it’s easier than reaching for the remote to turn the TV off, or any number of things that keep you from doing one of the three things you need ever do.

So I’m curious, as Lewis is in his letter. What is it that you like to do, that you wish you did more of? Do you plan on doing more of it this year? I like reading, writing, mastering new recipes, having people over, and painting, among other things. I want to do all of these things more often this year, if I can, along with those things I ought to do, and I’ve got to do.


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