I ought to do this, I have to do this, its my duty as a son, boss, friend etc. How many times do we try to propel ourselves through such statements? How long are we able to sustain our energy in such situation. How creatively and deeply can we perform with a sense of duty? Is there a more empowering approach than mere sense of duty.
What’s wrong with a sense of duty?
The first objection that you may have is – so what’s wrong with a sense of duty? Isn’t that what makes us a better person. What good is a person who is selfish and does not have a sense of duty.
A sense of duty is a good thing, unless a few elements are off:
- it neglects your happiness and your true nature – essentially ends up weakening you
- it prevents others from taking self responsibility and doing their part in the situation
- it encourages behaviors that are not aligned with the laws of the universe – essentially where we are helping hide their weakness with our efforts – and deny them the opportunity to learn
- it leads to one always being a giver and another always being a taker
- it is driven with a sense of fear – fear of judgement, fear of losing something
Commitment – Balanced and Higher level of sense of duty
When you are driven by a sense of commitment – you do things because you feel like doing it ; not because you are expected to do it or have to do it. In sense of commitment you are driven by higher purpose and are able to take some “short term tough decisions” for better longer term outcome.
Sense of duty may compel you to do things that may please in the short term and not resolve the root cause issues. Sense of duty may also may you blind with your loyalty and you may not be able to see what is the best approach in the broadest sense.
When we have a sense of commitment, we don’t build resentment even if we have to compromise, put in more effort, or even when others don’t reciprocate. Our commitment is our strength and our reward by itself. In general a sense of duty is energy draining and sense of commitment is energizing.
So what in your life are you doing simply out of a sense of duty, and not a commitment with better future for all? How can you upgrade yourself to higher level of commitment in that area?
I leave you with a quote:
Commitment means that it is possible for a man to yield the nerve center of his consent to a purpose or cause, a movement or an ideal, which may be more important to him than whether he lives or dies. Howard Thurman