Most of us have both commitments and obligations.
What’s the difference? A commitment is something YOU do for yourself. An obligation is something OTHERS put upon you.
When you get married, you agree to be committed to your spouse. You will do what you need to do to make the relationship work, and build a life. You accept any obligations that your spouse puts upon you, because you want to be committed to that person. For example, one spouse may elect to stay home with the children, while the other spouse goes to work to support the family. Each spouse accepts the obligations of those roles, because they want to be committed to the family.
In religion, a church may put obligations upon you. But, if you choose to be committed to the faith, you accept the obligations.
If your parents, children or other family members need something from you, or need you to be available to serve their needs, those are obligations. If you are committed to the relationship with that person, you accept those. If your commitment to the relationship wanes, those obligations become burdensome.
When we retire, it’s best to retire with no prejudices, pretenses or burdensome obligations. With no prejudices, you might tend to try something, or do something, that never occurred to you to try or do before. Or, you may not have had time or opportunity when you were working to try or do those things. With no pretenses, you can be yourself. Very often, working people have to pretend to be someone or like some things to please bosses. Any obligations you have in retirement should not be burdensome, if you can help it. It should depend on how committed you want to be to those obligations.
We all need to periodically take a look at our lives, how we spend our time and with whom we spend our time. Are the things we do more chore than pleasure? Are the people we spend time with good or bad influences on you? Though it’s nearly impossible to eliminate every chore, or like every person we see, we can choose our commitments most of the time. Don’t be afraid to say “No,” if doing something, or being with someone, will not necessarily be good for you. At the same time, don’t be hurt when you hear “No,” if you try to obligate another person.
One should not fear commitment, but neither should one commit to everything. One should choose commitments wisely, lest we increase our burdensome obligations.
Once one commits, he must follow through, unless relieving himself of the commitment is in his best interest. Not every (pick one: marriage, relationship, activity) is worth staying with if it does not work for you. If you give something, you must WANT to give it, lest it becomes a burden.
Burdensome obligations become clutter in our lives when there is not the commitment to back them up.
We all certainly make commitments we regret. We stay with them for as long as we have to, because we are dependable people. That’s why it’s adviseable to analyze our relationships and activities periodically, and try to eliminate the ones that clutter our lives as best we can.
If you are looking to re-prioritize your life with a commitment you want to make, visit It may or may not be for you. If it is, go for it. If not, pass it by. Other commitments in your life that have become obligations that may not be so easily relieved. Remember that one commitment can eventually be replaced by a better one, if you are willing to look at your life, and at other things, periodically.
Choose your commitments wisely, or they may become burdensome obligations.