To DO or NOT DO?


While reading Valorie Burton’s book on Happy Women Think Better, a message came over me that I’ve been battling for quite some time now:

Do the things that contribute to my happiness!

This isn’t the first time I heard this message. However, I’ve ignored it plenty of times, and as time goes on, I am more inclined to fight for what I should be doing instead of what others think I should do.

In her book, Valorie mentions that happiness can be obtained and a consistent part of your life, if you focus on certain happiness triggers like: smiling, living close to friends, positive self-talk, relaxation and playtime.

She made really great points I agreed with. My favorite statement of all is “women are less happy because we are bombarded with expectations about what our lives are supposed to look like.”

We’re always trying to change and fix our present situation to fit an idea of living that may not be our own.

If you’re single, getting married would resolve that problem. If you don’t have kids, you need to have one immediately. If your marriage is “crappy” avoid fixing yourself and focus on fixing your spouse. You need to be a better parent. You need a better job. You’re going to be miserable if you decide to stay home and raise the kids.  ~Valorie Burton

I remember clear as day living at my mother’s house, getting all dressed up to go places with my friends that I had no desire to be. I enjoyed having a great time with them, but my spirit was telling me to stay home. I’d hang out with them and end up meeting more guys to add to my “sex” roster, or drink, over eat, gaining more weight.

It was a cloudy February in 2015 when I left the restaurant I would soon chow-down at after getting married to my (at the time) fiancé. I remember us confirming our reservations and then taking a stroll down the main street. I observed how gray the sky was and immediately thought to myself, I shouldn’t be doing this. But, I did it anyway. A few weeks later, he and I were married, and for the next three years I would be a depressed little miserable wannabe free spirited Debbie Downer.

When I was around thirteen years old, there was this boy, Rashad, who lived upstairs from my grandmother’s house. We went to the same school and the more I saw him, the more I began to crush. One day, a close friend and I took a trip up the long wooden stairs behind the apartment, and every step up was a remember to turn around. We landed in his house and hung out with him and his younger brother while their mother was at work. Rashad escorted me to his bedroom, and pulled out his large penis. He then would try and take my clothes off so he could “relieve” his hard-on. Luckily, I was a prude a.k.a. innocent, or what some called me, “a square.” I ran out with my friend and I never went back up those steps again.

So why keep doing ish you don’t want to do, that you know you shouldn’t be doing.

We all gotta get married someday... NOT NOW YOU DON’T.

We all gotta lose out virginity some day… NOT NOW YOU DON’T.

We all gotta go turn up with our friends one time… NOT NOW YOU DON’T.

Every experience is NOT for you. It’s ok to turn down the invitation, and as many times as you’d like.

You may feel like you’re missing out, or that people will judge you and more than likely they will, but that proudness you get from not doing that thing, is much better than the guilt trip you’ll feel months or years to come.

I’ll admit, I often found myself initiating situations just to feel connected with people. One great example was having sex with some men I wasn’t truly passionate about. I didn’t see any other examples on how to do it the right way, so I was just doing what I knew how to. Doing so has brought so much grief and resentment into my life. I have spent countless moments forgiving myself for the decisions I made years ago.

Honor your body. Respect your intuition. Listen to your spirit.

And stop doing shit you don’t want to do. You’ll be happier in the long run!

Instead, focus on the people, places, habits, and things that will bring both self gratification and satisfaction now and greater results in the future.

For example, working out now immediately boosts your mood and helps you live longer. Eating healthy helps with your PH now, and controls your weight later. Working a job you love gives you stability now, and even more stability and recognition in the future. Learning to love yourself now, improves your confidence later. Creating a Blueprint for your future now, bring more happiness and accomplishments later. Isn’t that something to look forward to?

But let’s not forget about the hard decisions that need to be faced now.

Turn down that engagement ring now, and marry the man of your dreams later. Hold out on sex and make passionate love to one loyal, trustworthy person later. Skip the f*ck boys, they aren’t allowed. Turn down those greasy foods now, and avoid diseases later. Turn down that promotion and enjoy more moments with your children later. Don’t buy that purse, and have an extra $50 for your retirement later.

Do what matter. Do who matters.

Avoid going back and forth, being “sometimesy,” fickle and unsure. Just say, no. Not me. Not now. No thank you! Not today!

What are you stopping and shutting down that you’ve said yes too many times to? (please share in the comments)

Other perspectives on this topic:

Charli Penn: Black Girls Beam! Black Women At Every Age Reveal The Small Acts That Brought Them Big Joy

Kate Jensen: Now is the Time to DO the Things that Make You Happy

Geoff Blades: How to Focus On What Matter In Life – And Stop Wasting Time

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