Not all obligations hold you back

The Joy of obligation 

We normally think of obligations as something we don’t really want to do, something that gets in the way of achieving our dreams.

But fulfilling our potential is not all about just doing what’s easy. It’s not even about what’s fun. It’s about what brings us joy.

Guilty pleasures?

I make a big distinction between pleasure (or fun) and enjoyment.  Pleasure tends to be satisfying only in the short term. A quick burst of emotive endorphins,  a sugar-rush of fleeting feel-good, and it’s gone.

The insubstantial nature of pleasure often leaves us feeling rather unsatisfied, even slightly sullied. Maybe that’s why people talk about guilty pleasures?

Enjoyment, on the other hand, brings us lasting joy, something we can look back on with a feeling of having experienced something rather profound and meanngful. En-joy-ment – the bringing of joy.

So what does all that have to do with obligation?

Meaningful work

Here’s the thing, when you have a purpose behind what you do, something that truly matters to the world, it becomes more meaningful work. And when your work matters then you cannot not pursue it, because to slack off means the world misses out. And so do you.

It becomes an obligation to do everything you can to make it happen.

Fulfilling your potential

And it’s not an obligation to someone else – it’s to yourself. An obligation to make sure you “don’t ‘die with your music still inside you”, as Wayne Dyer put it.

And, more importantly, rather than holding you back from the work you would rather be doing, it’s an obligation that pulls you through the hard times when everything seems like it’s not working. It’s a reason to push on through what has to be done, and be all that you are supposed to be in the world.

In other words, it will inspire you to do what you need to do, so that you get the incredible joy of fulfilling your awesome potential.

As obligations go, I’d say that’s pretty positive. What positive obligation are you going to take on? 🙂


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About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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