Recently, I sat down and made a list of all the things I had to do on a daily basis if I wanted to live my life the way I wanted to.
The list went like this: wake up at 5 am and train, then read something positive, then write something positive and inspiring. Then eat something healthy in moderation.
I wanted to keep the checklist to three categories of life. Business, family and health.
Each of those categories, I further reasoned, that I had to at least do three things daily, just to make sure I was on top of things.
Before you knew it, I had nine point daily checklist.
Now I was beginning to get overwhelmed even before I started so I decided that I will break the day into three sections during which on each section I will focus on getting done only three things.
I must say that some of them are simple but just because they are simple doesn’t mean they are easy.
However, what was interesting revelation for me was how I responded when I realized that I may not have as much free time as I am used to. I unconsciously I behaved like someone who was being forced to do something they don’t want to do.
I behaved as if this was something that I had to do instead of something I choose to do. That’s when I realized that the headline of my thinking was things I had to do to stay on top of my game or something like that.
The truth of the matter is that I didn’t have to do anything, I didn’t have to wake up at 5am to go training in this cold, I don’t have to read anything if I don’t have to and of course I don’t have to spend time with my family because I can get away with being busy.
Surely my wife can understand that am trying to bring the bacon home, and of course my children know that daddy has to attend important business meetings and do other things. They are my children I know how to talk to them in a way that they wouldn’t question me much about my whereabouts and when I am coming home.
It would be easier to be as away from home as much as I want and to eat anything I want as much as I want and to wake up at anytime I want. So yes you and I my friend don’t have to do anything we don’t want to. Anything you want to do can be justified.
So I realized that because I didn’t have to do anything I towed around with the idea of taking the path of least resistance. I wondered what would become of me if I gave in to my basic instincts and indulgences with reckless abandon. Needless to say I didn’t like the picture. So I choose to stick with my plan and realized in sticking to my plan I choose a path of personal growth and prosperity.
You don’t have to do anything my friend, you only choose to do certain things in your life and just because you choose to do them doesn’t mean that they will be easy or that they will be free of challenges. In the grand scheme of things I don’t have to write this column and you don’t have to read it.┬á
But if you choose to read it, it can benefit you for instance about being able to make distinction between the things you have to do and the things you choose to do.
Just as much as it benefits me by helping me draw the distinction between the things I have to do and the things I choose to do. We can only choose to grow, we don’t have to but we can choose to.
So the next time you agonize about what you think you have to do just remember that pretty much ninety percent of the time you put yourself in those circumstances. So keep in mind that moaning and whining about the things you have to do is not going to help you make your life easier. In fact, the more you moan the more you are likely to engage a self-justification process that as you can imagine will help you to convince yourself that your moaning is justified.
At the same time if you see the circumstances that you find yourselves in as a result of choices that you have made then you will just as much engage in a process of self righteous self-justification of your choices.
┬áWhen it all said and done we don’t have to do anything really, or be anything or anyone that we don’t want to be. We can only be and do that which we choose for ourselves.
Whether that choice is conscious or unconscious the bottom line is we choose and we are much more empowered if we feel as though we are the ones that made the choices.