This past weekend, I went with some of my extended family to a local attraction/theme park. They had multiple venues and shows going on. We went to several and I enjoyed watching these things through my grandkids eyes.

One of the shows was similar to the concept of the Island of Misfit Toys from from the classic Rudolph special. This live show had several toys who didn’t feel like they measured up to other toys. The robot didn’t feel smart enough, the superhero wasn’t very brave and the baby doll didn’t feel like smiling.

It was a cute show and had a happy ending for all the toys. One of the lines of one of the songs stuck with me though.

Who says who’s the best? Who decides who’s better than the rest?

~ Casey, the Not-So-Superhero Doll

I began to think about the pressure we have upon us in our society to perform. Whether at our jobs, our families, in our relationships, in our communities, we feel this enormous pressure to do what others expect us to do.  And when I say “others”, I mainly mean society in general as a whole. Think of Dennis the Toymaker Elf who really wanted to be a dentist!

We try and try to keep up with what is expected of us. We work harder and faster and sleep less. And if we aren’t able to keep up with those expectations, we feel like we are not as good as everyone else.

Well I want to ask the questions: WHO decides what we SHOULD be doing? WHO dictates what we should spend our time and effort on?

Like Casey, the Not-So-Superhero Doll, I want to know who made up the rules?

(NOTE: I am NOT getting into the spiritual realm here of believing in the absolute truth of God, or laws of the land)

These expectations that we feel are placed upon us, in reality are expectations we are demanding of ourselves. They are things we THINK we should be doing because that is what everyone else is doing. 

Why do you do the things you do?

We need to stop and examine our lives. WHY are we doing the things we do? Is it because it is something that is truly important to us? If so great. If not, then why are you doing them?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should live in a bubble and only do what we feel like doing. I just think we need to be more focused with our choices of priorities and activities.

Think about the things you do each day. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will it make a difference in 5 years if I don’t do it?
  • Am I breaking the law or personal moral laws by doing or not doing it?
  • Will it harm someone if I don’t do it?
  • Will the world end if I don’t do it?
  • Will I make a difference in someone’s life by doing this?
I remember asking my kids when they would get upset about something “Will this really matter next week? Then why are you fretting and fighting?”

Be intentional

Instead of rushing around trying to do all the things you think you SHOULD do, think about the things that matter to you. Of course your family and those you love, but also think about organizations and cause that are important to YOU. Not because someone else says you should, but because it matters to YOU.

When you free up a little of your time by clearing yourself of some of the non-important things, you can then CHOOSE what to focus on. You can be intentional in your activities. You can do what is important to you and to those you love, instead of bowing down to some invisible “THEY”  or “EVERYBODY ELSE”.

What things would you focus on if you had the time?  Your health, the homeless, rescuing strays, mentoring kids in the neighborhood?

YOU make your rules, what would YOU choose?