We all have preferences.
Things we’d rather be doing. Things we’d rather have. Ways we’d rather behave.
At the same time we all have commitments. Things we feel we have to do. Behaviours which are so ingrained they seem absolute.
How many of these do you have in your life? How often do you use the language of obligation to describe your actions? ‘I must to do this.’ ‘I have to go here.’
Think about that list.
Think about how many of them are circumstances in which you truly have no choice.
Think about how many of them are things you’ve actually made a conscious decision to do versus times where you feel the decision has been made for you.
What have you chosen to do based on your own intrinsic self-motivation? What do you feel so strongly about that you aren’t willing to negotiate?
Conversely, when do act as if you have no alternative? When do you simply adopt that stance to relieve yourself from the responsibility of having to justify your behaviour?
That second category can be hugely detrimental to our own feeling of autonomy.
But we also have to identify the intentional fixtures we’ve created for ourselves. Deciding on those non-negotiable behaviours is key in exploring our own self-awareness.
The fewer of them we have, the more freedom we establish.