How much responsibility do you really have?

When we talk about responsibilities, we generally equate them with bill paying, working at a job, the upkeep of a home, and the maintenance of vehicles. We wrote about clutter files in our post The Great Big Filing Cabinet in Your Mind when we explained that dealing with mental clutter can be just as challenging as handling physical clutter. And while we told you to just file your unwanted stressful thoughts, we realize that sometimes, it seems like the whole world is on your shoulders.

You may be reluctant to just file the clutter—as we say—because the thoughts are overwhelming and the responsibilities feel huge. But how much responsibility do you really have? Think of this: we are all in different positions. It is impossible to compare one set of circumstances to another. We are individual human beings and can only do so much. If you think that you have more worries than your neighbor, think about the responsibilities of President Obama. The president does not have to perform the same mundane tasks we do like paying bills or making sure the laundry is done, but it helps to remember that he probably has more commitments than anyone in the world. Still, he is just one person living his life, taking care of the responsibilities on his plate, and you are taking care of yours. Imagine: If he can manage the country, we can certainly manage our lives. Knowing that others have significant obligations helps to alleviate some of the angst, but we still have our own worries. How can we get to a better feeling place?

Imagine if the ordinary tasks of daily life were just done for you. Forget about the bills for a moment. Forget about the phone calls you have to make or the food list sitting on the kitchen counter, and mentally file them. Do it now. And then think: what would I do if I did not have to do any of those things? Your mind would be clear to focus on what you want to do, not what you feel you must do. You may begin to realize that the stress you feel has nothing to do with your specific responsibilities, but with how you manage your thoughts, and your time. When you take care of business, you feel good. So do take care of your responsibilities, but clear time to do the things that make your heart sing. It is a balancing act perhaps, but it is life, and we are all in this together.