The only way to get things done is to honor our responsibilities. People depend on us - children, communities, animals, significant others, coworkers, family and friends. Accumulatively these things - if not monitored - can feel overwhelming and make life downright dreadful. When it gets to that point, the big question is this:
Have you lost personal responsibility for the responsibilities you’ve personally taken on? Read that again.
We shouldn't let our responsibilities for others overshadow the choices we make for our wellbeing. There are things we must take care of, and there are things we do and can't remember why. As all of these responsibilities stack up, the walls can start to feel like they’re closing in. It’s a Rat Race that keeps us moving because if we stop, everything will fall apart, right?
Quality vs. Quantity: Test Yourself
If this rings true, let’s make a list and get to the bottom of it. Write down the following:
1) People: People who come to you for their needs and wants.
i.e., children, pets, neighbors, co-workers.
2) Things: Actions that require you to be responsible.
i.e., dirty dishes, taxes, rent.
3) Yourself: Things you do just for yourself.
i.e., yoga, writing, meditation.
Now look at your list:
-CIRCLE all the people and things that literally need you.
-CIRCLE all the preventative things you do to avoid more work in the future (taxes, rent, car maintenance).
-CIRCLE things that bring you joy. You, not other people.
-CROSS OUT things you dislike.
-Review the things that have neither been circled nor crossed out. Now CROSS THEM OUT.
Why? Your life is too precious to do mundane activities that don’t serve you.
The point is not to become less responsible, it’s to become more productive with the responsibilities you choose. Why drive yourself crazy to get five things "kinda" complete? It's more beneficial to focus on the one thing you’re most passionate about and knock it out of the park - better for you, better for the cause.
When you give up a responsibility that isn’t necessary and doesn’t serve you, you’ll be surprised how quickly someone else steps in and either does the job, or the job never needed to be done in the first place. Above all, don’t feel guilty for lightening your load. It’s necessary to create more focus on what really matters – that’s true responsibility.
Now that you’ve evaluated your current responsibilities, here are 5 questions to help you decide whether or not to invite new things into your life.
1) Is it a burning passion?
2) Is it for your happiness or someone else’s?
3) Does it cause a tightening in your chest just thinking about it?
4) Is it to keep up with everyone around you (for appearances' sake)?
5) How long of a commitment is this?
Give It Up
Humans are constantly evolving - even our cells change and renew themselves. It’s understandable and predictable that our feelings and needs will shift - we’re practically shedding our skin. There’s a difference in being a committed person who finishes what you start, and someone who just hangs around for the good of no one, with one foot out the door. Get conscious.
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