Never do anything out of obligation! Here is why.

written by Paula Hartmann 


Today I want to inspire you to bring more joy into your daily life instead of being ruled by your obligations.


Although this sounds easy, as I work with my clients I see that there is a lot of healing work to do in our society. We are all programmed to believe that joy is something you treat yourself to - maybe once or twice a week (if even). We believe that It’s a luxury to do something that feels good to us. We might think that being a responsible human being is to work hard and give all the time. 


If that’s what responsibility means to you, you’re probably doing a lot of things because you feel obligated to do them. 


Maybe you think, 

  • “I have to work hard, so my kids can go to University later.”
  • “I need to be there for my sick mother all the time.”
  • “It’s my job to listen to the problems of my friends.”
  • “I need to bring a gift to the dinner party I’ve been invited to.”
  • “I have to go to my friend’s exhibition to support her."


If we do things out of obligation instead of doing them from a place of joy, we will end up feeling resentful.


Dave says to his daughter, “I’ve worked so hard for so many years so that you can go to University.” But his daughter doesn't want to study so Dave feels betrayed and frustrated. Why? Because he decided to suffer for years to be able to make this happen for her.


If, on the other hand, Dave would have always done what brought him joy, he wouldn’t care so much if the money that he earned would go towards his daughter's degree or not. He wouldn’t regret anything, because he wouldn’t have compromised his well-being for somebody else. 


Maria buys her colleague a birthday gift, because she feels she needs to. Her colleague doesn’t end up liking the gift and doesn’t even say thanks. Maria feels offended by this behaviour. Why? Because deep down the act of giving didn’t bring her joy. She did it, because she felt obligated to do it and now is frustrated about the result. 


Susan works over-hours in her so-so office job to get promoted. But instead, one of her colleagues gets the job. She feels betrayed and frustrated, because she sacrificed so much of her free time and energy for years. If instead she would have decided to do a job that brings her joy and real satisfaction, she wouldn’t have the feeling that she wasted her time.


Joy is our birthright. 


If we make our decisions from a place of joy, we will live a regret-free life. We won’t be sad if our promotion doesn’t work out or if we don’t reach our goals. 


We need to make the journey enjoyable and allow ourselves to have fun on a daily basis. Then we will realize that the goal itself is just the icing on the cake. 


Here is an assignment for you. I want you to put your life under the microscope. What are the areas where you are doing things out of obligation? Write down the numbers 1 to 5 and find areas where you act because you think you have to. 


  1. Volunteering at my kid’s school is a good thing I guess, but it leaves me exhausted.
  2. Listening to my friend Sarah’s problems day in and day out makes me feel so tired, but I guess that’s what good friend do. Right?
  3. I promised to help my partner with his taxes. I don’t really want to, but I don’t want to disappoint him.
  4. My friend Mila asked me if I could help her organize a Halloween kids party for the community. Hmm…kids parties are not really my thing, but I’m helping a noble cause, I guess. 
  5. I have this good paying job. It’s not really my dream job, but at least my partner, the kids and I have a big house and we can give the kids everything that they need and want. 


If you stop doing things out of obligation you have more time and energy left to concentrate on the things that make you feel good. And this will be a win-win situation for everybody. You won’t be in a constant bad mood and your joy will inspire others to make better decisions too.


Make it a daily habit to ask yourself: What brings me joy? And then do it.


Make the present moment enjoyable instead of suffering to get to a “good-looking” goal in the future. This is a recipe for disaster.


You deserve to feel good now!


Sending you tons of love and encouragement, 


"Ok", you might think, “I have no idea, what really brings me joy. And besides, there is no way, that I can make a living with something that is fun. So, I don’t even want to start dreaming about this.” 


I feel your frustration. We all have been conditioned to think this way. But, I know that this is not the truth. Everybody on this planet including you has a divine purpose. You are meant to feel good every day. And there is an easy and practical way to find out what brings you joy and what feels meaningful to you.


In my Coaching Program I help women to get in contact with themselves again - with their natural talents, their wildest dreams and their personal source of happiness. 


If you feel tired of living like this and you want to find a different way to be in this world, you can schedule a free Clarity Call with me here (zero obligation).


I’ve been in exactly the same place that you’re in right now and I know how hopeless it can feel sometimes. I want you to know that there is a different version of you inside of yourself. It is a more alive, vibrant and enthusiastic version and it is waiting to be discovered. Let me help you with this. 


The program that I'm offering at the moment is a full support Coaching. That means you get 24/7 access to me for a full period of three months. We have personal 1:1 Coachings on Skype and you get all my wisdom packed up in an email at the beginning of every week. These emails will shift your perspective. They are packed with fun and easy exercises that will help you to become aware of what you want to create and what kind of lifestyle feels natural to you.


Find more info about the program here.


Let’s chat. I can’t wait. 


See ya!

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