March 26, 2013

Weekly Mantra - The Don't Do

The difference between children and adults is a strong sense of obligation.

Children bluntly tell their parents what they don't want to do. Parents on the other hand, force their children to understand responsibility in the face of resistance. Finish your broccoli. Don't quit piano lessons. Kids usually still protest for the most part, because they know the feeling of loving something and loathing something. Somewhere along the way, the child grows up and the intense pursuit of passion (for some) is replaced with the guilt of responsibility.

I find that an excess of obligation as an adult can lead to participating in too many things that one does not enjoy. It is no longer about the personal pursuit of fascination but the guilt that comes with admitting that you should abandon something earlier than socially acceptable. I'm not talking about not paying your mortgage because you want to buy shoes, or running out on your spouse because someone winked at you; broccoli is also delicious. Instead, it's about having the guts to resist and release all things that you find yourself convincing yourself that you should do, finish, or continue for no other reason than obligation.

This week's mantra is indicative of choosing pleasure and self-worth, over blind commitments:

"Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it." - Chris Brogan


  1. This just inspired me to stop reading this truly boring book I felt obligated to finish. Thanks! ha!