Freedom and Two Common Obstacles

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You eliminate freedom and choice when you turn good things into obligations. A past promise or a goal you made can become an obligation. When you do that, you change a “want to” into a “have to” – draining energy from your life.

The same can be true for commitments. They can block our sense of making the choice to commit in the first place. Worse, commitments are used to manipulate behavior into compliance. For example, your marriage vows are a commitment. Are they a choice or an obligation? Do you have to stay married or want to stay married? How about obedience to God? Do you have to obey God, or do you want to? Do you have to love others, or do you want to?

See if you notice a difference when you read the following sentences out loud.

"I have to do what is right."

"I want to do what is right."

There is a profound difference in the two sentences. You do not have to do what is right. You have a choice. If you think you do not have a choice, you believe a lie.

The reality – you have a choice; you create fiction thinking there is no choice.


acceptance is not approval, accepting someone is not approving of their behavior, have to is not want to, obligation, obligation interferes with freedom, obligation is de-energizing, obligation reduces motivation

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