Life is about Choices, Not Obligations

Dear friend,

A realization:

Life should be about OPTIONS and CHOICES, not ‘obligations’ or a sense of ‘duty’.

What is an ‘obligation’?

Never make decisions to please others, or else you will end up resenting them.

Generally speaking, this is what an ‘obligation’ is:

When someone has control over you, by using the tools of guilt, shame, and “duty”.

Obligations are all socially-constructed. There is no such thing as an ultimate ‘obligation’ that applies to ALL HUMANS in ALL SOCIETIES. Even the duty of a parent toward their children — Socrates willfully decided to drink the hemlock in spite of the fact that he had (adult) children he should have been “taking care” of.

Choices and options

Eric Kim tub red

I think the reason a lot of people feel miserable in life is because they feel overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, “sin”, and obligation. But what if we imagined a life free of any sort of ‘duties’ and ‘obligations’? What if our life was 100% in our control; that consisted of choices, options, and consequences?


Eric Kim white selfie

I like the notion of ‘consequences’, because in life, we can technically do anything– but we must accept the consequences.

For example, you could kill a man, but you would have to deal with the consequence of being put in jail for the rest of your life, or perhaps even getting the death penalty.

You have the option of being a selfish and abusive father, but then you must deal with the consequence of having your children resent and ignore you when you get old (what happened to my dad).


First, always do what is best for you.

Consequences are also related to sacrifice, in the sense that every action you take in your life requires some sort of sacrifice– some sort of personal downside you’re willing to take for your actions.

Generally speaking, the only way to have ‘skin in the game’ is precisely through sacrifice, and through your actions.

To be clear, I don’t mean to think of sacrifice as a painful self-abnegation or self-flagellation thing; the best sacrifices are empowering and positive.

How to make decisions in everyday life

Eric Kim selfie olympus

This is my thought:

In life, always make the choices and decisions YOU consider is best for yourself. Otherwise down the line, you will feel resentment towards those you are trying to help.

For example, a parent actually may be ‘selfish’ in deciding that what is best for THEMSELVES is to devote their lives to their children.

Avoid resentment at all costs.

eye caution

Above all, always act in accordance with your own personal desires, needs, and ethics. Never make a decision that will make others happy; because what will happen is that you will eventually resent that person. And resentment, to me, is one of the ultimate human vices.

This means having the courage to ignore, the courage to say no, the courage to delay, and the courage to stand your ground!

Be courageous in your life, in spite of the consequences.


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