Joy vs. Obligation

Chelsey Grace Jacobs
3 min readMar 28, 2022

I have struggled my entire life by doing things for the obligation of others.

I could not detect why certain actions made me feel so shitty and would weigh on me for days after. I could not detect why certain actions made me feel so alive and helped me connect with myself.

Feeling that “nagging” pressure before you walk into a certain situation is how you detect that it is an obligation. Obligations are attached to the word “have.” When you say “ I have to do this” that's your indication that what you are doing is to provide for the external illusion. It is solely for you to please something outside of you.

From certain homework assignments that feel pointless, meeting up with a friend because you feel like you have to, saying things that you do not mean, participating in an event that feels like straight torture, going out because your friends are, or doing ANYTHING because your friends are, is merely an indication of how you think you should be acting. I am not saying drop your obligations and run the other way. I am saying that if you recognize when certain actions are for the sake of society and not for your better self, you learn what truly makes you happy.

The more you distinguish what feels like an obligation versus joy, you can steer away from the avoidable obligations that will not disassociate you from society that impactfully. As human beings in this specific lifetime, we have shit we “have” to do. Make it as joyful as possible when you complete these tasks. Immerse yourself to the fullest extent when participating in obligations or not.

You have one chance to live and when that day passes you can never touch it again. If you don't want to do something, don't do it!

Feeling excited or content when you are about to walk into a certain situation is how you can detect that it is for the sake of joy. If you ask yourself “do I want to do be doing this?” and do not hear a “YES”, it’s an obligation.

For me, joy is strived from being present, saying good morning and good night to myself, hugging myself, telling myself I love her, going on runs, meeting up with people who truly see me for me, journaling, eating greens, dancing, and getting an education about something I am so passionate about.

I would be filled with regret if I was making my parents spend money on college while studying something I do not feel passionate about. I understand some people do not have that calling yet or solely go to college for the party and drug scene. Try getting more in touch with yourself ❤

I love what I am studying to the point where my work does not feel like an “obligation.” I read over 10+ books last semester and enjoyed every damn second of it. I love learning and I love growing. Our physical body and consciousness crave growing and stepping out of our comfort zone. That is what we are here to do.

I deeply hope that you do not get too comfortable in doing shit that genuinely makes you unhappy. You will subconsciously get comfortable in that pain.

Joy strives from the soul and heart. Obligation strives from the mind and ego.

I love you all so very much.

Xoxo, Chelsey Grace Jacobs #W2W




Chelsey Grace Jacobs

a piece of our puzzle, a player in our game, and a lover in our universe