Sep 112013
To do lists
Do we really need to do everything on our “must-do” list?

One day last week, my Twitter feed was full of lists of “musts”. Must-see landmarks. Must-read books. Must-do luxury holidays. So many people telling me things I must do.

I appreciate the information I find on the Internet – destinations, reading, travel tips, inspirational quotes, recipes, bits of humour, news, intriguing ideas. But last week, I felt resentful. Who are these people to tell me what I must do?

The must-see landmarks would be wonderful to see, but none are priorities for me. It is unlikely I will ever see most of them and that doesn’t bother me. I have visited one – Stonehenge. And I think Avebury is actually more interesting than Stonehenge. As for the books, I have a stack of my own choosing waiting to be read and others on my own “must” list for when I finish those. I don’t need another list.

How many things in life do we do because we think we must? Because someone told us we should or because we’ve grown to implicitly accept them as “must-dos”. Things we believe we must do to be a good parent, a good child, a good worker, or a good citizen. Often these “musts” have nothing at all to do with the essence of fulfilling the role. If we enjoy them, they give satisfaction, and help ourselves or others, great. But if we feel bogged down and overwhelmed with all the things we feel we must do, maybe we need to reconsider our definition of what must be done.

I think we need to be kind, respect each other and ourselves, do what is right. But there is no one way we must live or act to do that.

I will continue to look to the Internet for information. I may discover places I want to go, books I want to read, and other things I want to do. But not because someone told me I must.

What “musts” are you reconsidering?

  2 Responses to “Must Do? Really?”

  1. My to do list since I’m retired has become much simpler than it used to be. Now it’s based around my family and of course whatever my wife Patti wants me to do.
    As far as a Must do list or bucket list as some people refer to it has not got enough attention as yet. I need to think about that a little more. I think we tend to feel pressure to do things because everyone else is into it instead of whats important to ourselves.

  2. Bob, I agree we tend to feel pressure to do things everyone else does. Sometimes it becomes difficult to sort out what is really important to ourselves.

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