Newly thinking about~ Guilt and Obligation

The Sunday paper offered up little of much value for me this morning,
and so instead, I found myself editing my feed reader with a new
resolve about what I’ve chosen to give my attentions to there as well.
Whenever the list gets too long red flags go up for me. It’s not the
number, it’s my displaced intention with reading versus collecting
versus referencing: My collections and reference stuff just doesn’t
belong with my daily reads.

My criteria is pretty simple. Whatever I choose to read each time it lights up, certain that author consistently feeds my spirit or my need to learn

On the other hand, feeds that I’ve collected for some reason,
clipping an article or two, get tagged and transferred to my vault
, or deleted altogether. I do it pretty quickly, and gets to be a quick mess I’ll clean up and bundle-tag later (To bundle, go to Settings in your own account, and you’ll see bundling under Tags).

For me, the "quickly" part of this process equals instinctively
correct, giving me a comfort with my choices. 99% of the time I’m a fan
of emotional intelligence, where you allow your gut feelings equal time
with whatever may be going on in your head, or better yet, you give
them veto power. My preferred word for it is intuition, a good word,
for intuitively we do know certain things way more than we give our
spirit credit for.

From …in ·tu ·i ·tion
1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.

3. a keen and quick insight.

4. the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.

Then again, there a few emotions that I think we should ignore

The first one that always comes to mind for me is guilt,
for I just can’t see any good coming out of it. When people feel guilty
about something, they are usually calling on the wrong emotion, and
responding to it for the wrong reasons. Even if they are guilty of a
crime, remorse is the more instructive emotion that gets suppressed at
times, replaced by righteousness or an ugly regret that they got caught.

Right behind guilt is another pretty worthless emotion, obligation.
That phrase "saddled with obligation" is an accurate description why;
it’s another one of those emotions that displaces better ones that are
more useful to you, and add more vitality to your spirit.

Vitality. There is a fire that burns within us during the holidays. Give in and let it burn up any stress, replacing it with enthusiastic and eager energy. Zip. Zeal. Zest. All vitally and dynamically virtuous.

~ from the Twelve Aloha Virtues

Obligation is the emotion I started thinking about as I edited my
feeds, finding it would appear on my inner radar screen when I’m not a
lurking reader, but feel I know the author, have engaged with them and
should be supporting them. But you have to get real with this: How much
do you really support other people with a subscription to a feed reader
that nobody reads but you?
Far better to add their contact info to your
address book, and send them a quick email to see how they’re doing, or pick up the phone and let them hear from you.

Obligation just drains your energies, and with feed-reading it
misplaces your attentions as well. I’m not a fan of skimming, which many meta-bloggers (those who write about blogging) advise, for to me
that’s just information gluttony. If productivity hacking is your
reason, obligation and information gluttony should be a red flag for you too, and some clean up
is in order whether you use like I do, or something else.

Please don’t read Talking Story
(or any feed I publish) feeling you are obligated to me in any way.
You’re not.
(You are hereby un-saddled :) If you feel I don’t deliver, feeding your spirit, and your need to learn, delete my feed and kick my butt into writing better.

Flickr photos
by Torchondo and
by La Fondinto

From the Talking Story Archives:
Newly thinking about~ Motivation


  1. says

    Rosa – I had a great comment – then got distracted by the “saddle.”
    Seriously, your desire to remain others focused while still recognizing your worth is a trait I attempt to learn from daily.