We often associate negativity with obligation. When we feel like we are ‘obligated’ to do things it feels like pressure, and that can cause us to want to push back on it. Kind of like “No one is going to tell me what to do” style.
I’m participating in my TKH100 challenge - a 100 day challenge where you commit to doing something with your horse every day, other than just feeding. You can do as little as picking out their feet, a full training session, but you must do more than just feed them. The point being that all the small things make a huge difference. I am only home for a month, so I elected to do 30 days.
Im halfway through, and being home there is lots of work to be done, but it is unstructured, as opposed to when I am away teaching clinics each week.
A few things that have happened over the past 2 weeks - dogs had an altercation with a deadly brown snake (both are fine), Gallie hurt her eye (she is fine) both of which required vet visits and, in Gallie’s case, treatment multiple times per day. In any case, there have been multiple days that I haven’t wanted to do the challenge.
The only thing that got me through was obligation. Knowing that I had committed to myself, my horses and the public that I was going to do it.
And you know what ? That’s OK!
Sometimes Obligation is the only motivation that you have, so use it! Its not negative, unless we want it to be - I consider it a safety net. My brain can justify anything when it wants to, but when I have the safety net of obligation, It is simple for me.
If you are doing something out of obligation every day for weeks, months or years, then yes you may consider if you even want to be doing it at all. For me obligation will get me through those days when I'm too tired or too wired until I get back to doing it because I want to.
Look at it this way - many of us have heard of an ‘accountability buddy’ - someone to book in with to go exercise for example. We see this as a positive thing - its just about our attachment or feeling that is generated with the word.
Flip the switch on our feelings on obligation, and think of it as the right thing to do.