What I Ought To Do vs. What I Want To Do

I so love it when I come across something of today that echoes the voice of Dear Charlotte.  I truly believe she was blessed in wisdom.  We are currently reading Character is Destiny as a group book discussion and Gough uses this same terminology- ought vs. want.  He is also talking much about habits and the importance of thoughts, go figure.   Accompany this book, along with reading Charlotte’s own volumes, and an effort to begin keeping a Way of the Will chart, and I am steeped in thinking about “What I ought to do vs. what I want to do.”

The uncomfortable thing is that upon reflection, I have discovered I do this so poorly.  If I am honest, much of what I do is what I want to do, and not what I ought.  When I do what I ought instead of what I want, it is often with an attitude of martyrdom – woe is me or my life kind of attitude.

While reading Character is Destiny (from now on I will refer to it as C is D), we all decided to identify our main character deficit.  I had trouble identifying mine for awhile.  Not that I don’t have deficits, because I do, lots of them in fact.  I finally identified being overly critical, which is not a new revelation to me….or those I live with.  We are planning to develop new habits of behavior to replace our old negative habits of behavior.   New habits of thought…Dear Charlotte I love you.

Well, over the last month or so as I have been contemplating how to develop these new opposite positive habits, both for myself and my kiddos, and I have been hit in the face with what I think may be an even bigger character deficit in myself.  Isn’t that lovely?

Simply put, I am a procrastinator.  I do not do what I ought to do, when I ought to do it.  I am reminded of the old adage – Never put off until tomorrow, what ought to be done today.  I am sure there are a few scripture verses that would speak to this too.  Something about ants and sluggards and being prepared.   So I am going to develop a new habit of not procrastinating.  I have looked for an antonym for procrastinate, in an attempt to use positive words and so far have come up empty.  I also think I need to be realistic.  I have limited time, energy and resources.  Not only is there the stuff that has been building up, which I have already procrastinated about, there are new things coming up all the time.  If I am not careful it is easy to become overwhelmed.

So my new habit is to learn to identify those things I ought to do, especially if it is something I am tempted to put off.  Instead of doing what I want to do, I will do what I ought.  Yesterday, I put up the Christmas decorations, much to the children’s chagrin.  Today, I will organize some paperwork, decide on a new artist and composer for the coming term, and begin contemplating what my costume will be for the party I told The Beauty we could attend.  I don’t get into a costume for just anyone.  I must love that girl.

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