How often do you do something that you don’t want to do?

All the time.

But how often do you do something that you didn’t want to do, but you actually had a choice?

Jack Bauer often says, “You always have a choice.”

In truth, it’s the fact that I made a choice that wasn’t what I wanted to do, but because doing the act would have given me benefit. Yet at what point, is that benefit not worth it?

In college, a friend coerced me to join an environmental lobbying group during the summer. We canvassed the local areas. But there was a problem: I joined, because of the friendship. But I didn’t think about myself. And as the job begun, I wasn’t spending time with her. The perceived benefit was gone. And I wanted to quit.

But as I gave my resignation on the third day, I couldn’t even stand up for myself and lamely said, “My parents want me to quit.”

“Do you?” my manager said. “What do you think?”

“I want to go,” I said.

But the fact is, I didn’t want to do it in the first place, but I followed along, essentially kicking and screaming the entire time. Silently. I didn’t believe in the cause and nor did I have any interest in this kind of lobbying. I went door to door and performed horribly. Interestingly, people took pity on my performance because not only did I read the speech fast and dispassionately, they thought that I was the most awkward person ever.

This is a good resolution: stop doing things that other people expect you to do, if you really truly don’t want to do it.

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