Do What’s Right, Not What You Should

Three weeks ago my family welcomed Little Miss Core Rose Hayes into our ranks. After a very long and difficult pregnancy, Cora finally decided to grace us with her presence and my sister and Mike completed their family unit. And it’s a pretty awesome family unit if you ask me.

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A few days after she was born I had the opportunity to visit my sister and the rest of the family for an evening of Thai cooking and hanging out. My sister and I worked through a few Thai recipes – writing down steps, taking pictures, sipping on wine, and catching up. At the same time, my brother-in-law and the other two kiddos were outside riding bikes, baby Cora chilling out in the Moby Mike so graciously said he’d wear.

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It was such a simple moment, an evening of dinner and family time, but it was full of happiness, contentment, and joy.

It got me thinking about this blog actually and the idea of love and life, and loving the life you’re living. It started me thinking about what it really takes for a person to love the life they have – what it takes to stop and look and recognize how lucky you are. It got me thinking about those larger goals we all have in life and what it must feel like to actually achieve them.

I’m not talking about the everyday goals we set for ourselves – eating healthy, going to the gym, getting enough sleep. I’m also not talking about the larger goals that take longer to achieve – getting a degree, landing a great job, getting married and starting a family.

I’m talking about those massive, larger than life goals that we work our entire lives to achieve. They include things like, oh I don’t know, loving yourself unconditionally, being exactly where you want to be in life, finding complete happiness.

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Yeah, those goals.

I started thinking about those goals and about what it takes to achieve them.

See, I’m a very goal oriented person. My entire life I have been all about reaching that next big accomplishment – going to college, getting a job, getting my masters, living on my own, getting into the Peace Corps, paying off my debt. I’ve always had something to work toward. But are those the goals that really matter?

Yes, it’s important to have ambition … but recently I’ve found myself asking the question: is that really what I should be focusing on?

In truth, the answer is a loud resounding NO.

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The goals in life that matter (in my opinion at least), are those larger goals and when I focus too much on the smaller goals, I often find myself worse off. Having these other goals is still important, but they all needed to be set using the larger goals as a filter.

Why work so hard to achieve something if it affects my contentment or my happiness?

A friend of my just posted a blog entry that discussed a fortune cookie he received the other day.

Do what is right, not what you should.

In the world we live in, we are often faced with a long list of things we think we should do. Sometimes, those are the goals we set for ourselves and work so hard to accomplish. Society says I should get a degree, I should have a great job, I should be debt free, I should, I should, I should.

But, are those things right for me? Are those the right things to help me achieve my goals? Are those the right things to help me love myself and find complete contentment in my life?

Maybe … but maybe not.

My new goal is to start distinguishing between the two and to do what is right for me, not just what I think I should.

Maybe easier said than done, but worth a shot J

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