My parents have laptops and are active on the internet. Truthfully, I’m excited and proud of their computer-based activities for many reasons. At the very least I love the fact they’re not intimidated by technology.

Like all computers, though, things go wrong. Power failures, network outages, devices not working, viruses and everything between. They have become good at trying to solve problems themselves. However, sometimes there’s no choice and they phone technical support. That’s me. 

I have a love/hate relationship with computers. I love technology and the ways it can enhance life. I hate technology when it doesn’t work. My experiences with Microsoft products says that you can plan on spending hours trying to solve problems. Let’s just say I’m not a Microsoft fan.

I could approach helping my parents as an obligation. After all, it’s what good sons do for their parents, right? I’d probably be saying things like “I should be a good son and go help them with their computer problems.” If I approached helping them as an obligation I am likely going to do the minimum required to get out of there. 

I don’t like helping my parents from a mindset of obligation. I love my parents and want to help my them live an independent life as long as possible. So, of course I’m going to help them when I can. It sometimes takes me a while to get over there, but when I do I want to find real solutions to their problems.

Do you sense the difference between these two mindsets? In obligation, I feel constrained, trapped, and burdened by my tasks. Life is much easier when I leave the obligations out of it.

Thought of the week 

In Greek Mythology, the Gods condemned Sisyphus to an eternity of rolling a boulder to the top of a hill. The next day the bolder would be back at the bottom and he would have to repeat the task. 

An obligation can feel as if you are carrying the burden of Sisyphus. Why not lighten the load?

To start, look at the places in your life you feel trapped. What is the mindset that has you trapped? It’s possible you will simply drop this obligation from your life.

However, there will be many things you cannot put down so easily. Losing weight, paying taxes, earning a paycheque and so much more. For those ones, try shifting your mindset to something you want to own:

  • Instead of “I should lose weight” try “I want to live a full life for as long as possible. Losing weight will help make that possible.”
  • Instead of “I should be a good neighbour and …” try “I want to be there for other people”
  • Instead of “I have to pay taxes” try “I love where I live. Paying my taxes helps make this lifestyle possible”

Life is so much easier to live when you leave the boulders at the bottom of the hill and just enjoy the view from the top!

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