You Don’t “Have To” Do Anything, or, Choose to Read The Recovering Attorney Blog Early and Often

Most of us go through life saying over and over again what we “have to” get done.  These frequent statements are a part of our daily conversations.  Some “have to(s)”:

“I have to go to college”

“I have to finish college”

“I have to find a job”

“I have to get married”

“I have to start my own business”

“I have to obey the law”

“I have to work on a new post for my blog.” (Okay.  That’s The Recovering Attorney specific)

Sounds familiar right?  Said it so often that you start to believe it.  But let’s be real.  You don’t “have to” go to college, finish college, find a job, get married, start your own business, obey the law, or keep your blog current.  You are  free to do all of the above or absolutely nothing at all.  But of course there is a catch. 

Don’t go to college.  However, you may find sustainable lucrative employment more difficult to obtain. Don’t obey the law.  However, you just might be arrested and find yourself imprisoned.  Don’t finish college.  However, you might find that you missed an opportunity to expand your knowledge base.  Don’t create new posts. . .you get the point.

When we say “have to” we lose sight of the fact that we actually have choices.  When you believe you “have to” do something you forget that you have options.  You forget that you have choices. 

If you marry because you find yourself pregnant and you don’t want to give birth out-of-wedlock, or your value system does not support abortion or adoption you have therefore exercised the option to marry.  You did not “have to” marry.  You in reality “chose to” marry  because you did not like the other options available to you.  We all make  choices AND

We can’t blame others for our choices.  The simple reality is that often we just have very difficult choices to make.  And what we end up doing is believing that we “have to” do something.  No.  You don’t have to do anything.  You chose to do one thing or the other!  But if we begin to “own” (there’s that word again.  “Ownership” one of my new BFFs) and accept responsibility for our choices, it becomes very difficult and down right silly to blame others for how we act or feel after we make our choices.  I know that “ownership” and accepting responsibility for our choices — hard to do when you are living in the midst of choices that you may, for the moment (or forever), resent. 

But let’s not be mistaken, if you want to have certain outcomes in your life, one can plausibly argue that there are indeed “have to(s).”  If you want a good marriage you “have to” work at having a good marriage.  But you don’t “have to” want a good marriage!   Does that make sense?  Think about it:  The argument is the same.  You choose if you want a good marriage.   And yes, it is indeed a circular argument!  The point is that there are no real “have to(s)” until you choose to want some specific result or outcome in your life.  The “have to(s)” are real, but you are still FREE to choose them:

“I choose to go to college”  Because I want _______________

“I choose to finish college”  Because I want _______________

“I choose to find a job”         Because I want ________________

“I choose to get married”    Because I want ________________

“I choose to start my own business”  Because I want ___________

“I choose to obey the law”                     Because I ________________

“I choose to post daily (well almost–I don’t “have to”) Because I wish to keep my three Dear Readers coming back for more with my modern, (over)indulgent, yet mundane content.  Ha!

Disclaimer:  You know that I am not a therapist, counselor, psychologist and or psychiatrist?  Right? Right!

*Excerpts from The Lies We Believe, Chris Thurman, PhD.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Blog.  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

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2 Responses to “You Don’t “Have To” Do Anything, or, Choose to Read The Recovering Attorney Blog Early and Often”

  1. Great post! Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, you have to try to live your life with no regrets. And even though it might be a pain and at times difficult you have to do those things listed above in order to achieve your ultimate goal.

  2. Well said and of course I agree with you! Welcome aboard. Keeping commenting. I like your thought process. But of course you don’t “have to” comment. However, I do hope that you choose to!

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