Change Obligation to Choice
You can change obligation to a choice. Any event in life can become tiresome or obligatory if you are not thinking clearly.
Consider an athlete in training or a mother cleaning up after the kids. What about a family giving up an exciting vacation to care for a dying grandmother? How about just going to work or school?
When in those types of situations, you can live in obligation make life miserable for yourself and those around, or in freedom.
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. - 2 Corinthians 9:5
Obligations Are Real
Since obligations are real, there are things that you “have to” do, how can you live in freedom? The answer comes from understanding your hierarchy of values or wants.
It is very simple, some events or wants in your life are more important than others. Those things are generally important because of values you have. So, you will either choose those values or ignore them. That is how the principle of Primary and Secondary Choices taught by Robert Fritz works.
Primary and Secondary Choices
A primary choice is the value you want, the outcome you want, or the vision you want to achieve – your THERE. A secondary choice is what you do in order to reach the primary choice. Now please note this – Secondary Choices are not necessarily wanted in and of themselves.
Your current reality, where you are today, most likely is that you haven’t achieved the outcome you want. When you are focused on THERE, the Primary Choice, it creates energy to go from HERE to THERE, but only if you want THERE more than HERE. (Download the Personal Plan Form to see how you can use THERE, HERE and PATH.)
Your Primary Choice is where you want to be, your current reality is where you are and the steps or actions you are taking is the PATH or the Secondary Choices you take to get to THERE.
If you are an athlete in training, are you training to just train or is there a Primary Choice (THERE) to be achieved? For Olympic athletes, they train to get the Gold Medal. The training is a Secondary Choice to help get them to the Primary Choice. Training is the PATH to THERE from HERE.
Obviously, you have more energy when focused on the Primary Choice versus focused on training. That is the power of Primary and Secondary Choices. When so engaged with Secondary Choices, you may lose sight of the reason you are doing it. That is the time to remind yourself of the Primary Choice. “I may not enjoy this training, but I want to enjoy the Gold Medal!”
Moms probably don’t want to clean up their kid’s sick messes at 3 a.m., but they will choose to do it because they love (want the best for) their kids. Of course, a family would not enjoy giving up an exciting vacation to watch someone die. But they can choose to because they value family more than entertainment.
Add Energy to Your Life
Realigning your focus to the Primary Choice will add energy to your life. Ultimately the highest, most joyful, most energizing primary choice for doing anything is to please and glorify God. With His strength, you can be disciplined enough to make good secondary choices, not for you, but for the ultimate joy found in Christ.
Do you love people, because you have to or because you want to? Big difference, right?