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Obligation or Love?

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Why do you do what you do? Do you do it out of obligation or love? Sometimes it’s one or the other. Sometimes it’s both.

For example, when you call your parents on Mother’s or Father’s Day, or on other holidays, do you call them because it’s expected of you? Probably.

In my view, the key difference in the motivation behind the two is this: doing something out of obligation is a requirement; it’s something you have to do. Acting out of love, on the other hand, is something you want to do.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not suggesting the dutiful nature of these phone calls means you love your family any less. Both love and obligation can be present in any of your actions. But the truth is, one can often supersede the other.

Look at it this way: when we do something out of obligation, we’re essentially just going through the motions. When we do something out of love, there’s an emotional component. It’s harder, and even scarier. And though the act of loving—someone or something—makes us more vulnerable, we’re likely to get more out of any experience, situation or interaction when it’s driven by that emotion.

Same principle applies to your career. Sure, work is called work for a reason, and it’s not supposed to be all fun and games. But overall, do you love what you do—or are you doing it out of obligation?

Gerard Way said, “The clearest actions come from truth, not obligation.” I would argue that, in fact, the clearest actions come from love.

Have a great weekend.