Learn to like the things we need to do to do the things we like to do

We all have preferences (things we like to do) and obligations (things we need to do). Among our biggest obligations is our profession. Even if our profession matches our preference, still we can’t do only the things we like to do.

Suppose we like to write and are professional writers. Still, we will need to do many other things such as promoting our books, negotiating with publishers and managing our finances.

If we resent such obligations, that resentment only makes those obligatory things seem more burdensome, even torturous. Moreover, that resentment may spoil our mood, thereby impeding us even when we start doing the things we like to do.

How can we avoid such disempowerment? By understanding that our preferences and obligations often come together as an inseparable package. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (18.48) states that all endeavors are covered by faults, just as fire is covered by smoke. To use fire, we need to tolerate smoke. Fire connotes our preferences and smoke, our obligations. To get the opportunity to do our preferences, our obligations are preliminary must-dos. By understanding this, we can learn to live with our obligations.

But can we go beyond tolerating our obligations to seeing them positively? Yes, if we understand our life’s higher purpose: spiritual evolution. Gita wisdom explains that we are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution towards the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. We evolve by doing all our actions as a loving service to him.

If we do our preferences and obligations both as services to Krishna, they both can take us closer to him. And he is the infinite source of all pleasure, including that attainable through our preferences. Inspired by this vision, we can do all our activities enthusiastically for serving and attaining Krishna.


Think it over:

  • When we resent our obligations, what is the result?
  • How can we learn to live with our obligations?
  • How can we see our obligations positively?


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