Rip up the intangible contract.
Forgo the unwritten lease.
Abandon the silent script.
Every day I see people doing things not aligned with their best interests so that they can fulfill an Invisible Obligation. What is an Invisible Obligation? Barryiam-Webster defines it as “Unstated rules or obligations we unwillingly invent or conform to.” What’s wild about invisible obligations people is how tightly people grip onto to them. Many times these invented obligations have no real consequence attached to them either. So how do we spot an Invisible Obligation? It usually begins with the qualifier(s) must, should, need to, have to.
“Unstated rules or obligations we unwillingly invent or conform to.” – Invisible Obligations, Source: Barryiam-Webster
I must go to Kathy’s party or everyone will hate me.
I don’t like the way John acts but I should hangout with him since he asked 5 times.
I really need to get my parent’s approval before I consider moving out of this apartment.
Becky walks all over people but I have to keep my mouth shut or she’ll get mad at me too.
In all of the examples provided the person weaved a tale in which they were relinquished of control. The inconvenient truth of the matter is besides eating, drinking, and staying alive you do not have to do anything. Obviously, there are unpleasant consequences attached to living certain ways, but we always have a choice. Bucking expectations only feels impossible. Take a quick browse through your memory banks and I guarantee you can find instances of people boldly abandoning what’s typically expected. Maybe it’s the class clown who always pulled gags and interrupted lessons. Maybe it’s outspoken teen who mother’s insisted she “speak like a lady”. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. The difference between them and you is a willingness to make a different choice.
“Courage is your birthright.” – Mel Robbins
Don’t be ashamed of taking ownership of your own agency. All I ask is that we be courageous enough to replace “ I have to” with “I choose to.”
It’s late now, I choose to go to bed – until next time – Barry