External pressures and forces have long been the killers of free will. There are so many expectations to live up to, and it can be overwhelming. Many of us are in the habit of avoiding conflict by bending our will. How many habits or routines do you own? Like many of us, are you suffering from over-obligation? Give yourself permission to do something this week only because you want to.
For me, this is usually the gym, which may seem like societal pressure but it isn’t. It’s a form of meditation for me. A time and place where I am someone else entirely. The mental space I enter is one in which I can move mountains. There is nothing else like it that I’ve found, and it’s all for me.
Frequently we have instances or circumstance that keep us begrudgingly participating in activities due to obligation. With this, there’s something that affects us psychologically as well. As we make ourselves busier with things that we perceive as favors, we become addicted to helping others. We challenge ourselves to stay busy and get busier. We convince ourselves that this gives us credibility or merit elsewhere in our lives. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us take a look at our lives and realize we haven’t spent time alone in more than a month (other than to poop hopefully).
In other words, somewhere in the furious race to get (and stay) busy and active in our lives we can lose ourselves. It’s important in our full lives that we still take the time to screen offers and reclaim our schedules. If you don’t have time for the gym or to cook for yourself, what business do you have helping someone level up in their life while yours is waiting for you in shambles?
Sometimes we spend so much time taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves. I recently purchased the book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do. It’s a brilliant parody on a best seller called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Both books are fantastic, and both have their place for living a happier existence.
I’m guilty of giving too many fucks. There. I said it. I worry too much about everyone except for myself, And then I have the audacity to be surprised or disappointed when I don’t get what I want. Like me, are you suffering from over-obligation? We need to give ourselves permission to let go of the things that we shouldn’t give a fuck about to make room for the things that matter.
This can be scary! Furthermore, what if our friends and family perceive this shift in niceties as something malicious? Well, they might, but that’s okay. Once we set a precedent for the things we’re willing to put energy toward vs. the things that aren’t in alignment with our energy or joy, we’re putting ourselves in a position where we can be understood by our peers and happier altogether.
So the next time you’re lamenting over something you feel like you have to do, ask yourself why?
1.) Why do I give a fuck?
2.) Does giving a fuck benefit me?
3.) Does it benefit someone else?
i.) In this circumstance is the other party more deserving of the benefit than I am of peace/ joy/ relaxation/ time?