Choice versus Obligation


Needs versus Wants

Very few things in life are needs.

Very few things in life are obligations.

This means…

…most things in life are wants. Most things in life are a choice.

Yes, that does mean 99% of your expenses are a choice and a want, not an obligation or a need.

As Richard Bach said

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.”

Oops, I’ve just blown up one of the most convenient set of excuses we have for not doing the things we say we want and for not getting our money flows into right alignment.

If you want to be free, in every way, it’s really important to get clear on whether something is a choice or an obligation.

That is what this video is all about.

If something truly is an obligation, and something you absolutely must do or spend money on, then pretending you have a choice in it is just going to cause friction and waste your time, your energy, your money, and your life in the process.

There are some things in life that are obligations, things we just have to do – but not many. So if it is a real obligation, stop resisting and just get on with.

But the truth is, if you do have a choice, and most things actually are a choice, then pretending that you don’t have a choice is really disempowering.

Pretending you are obligated, or have no choice is going to cause far more friction and loss. These false obligation actions will waste even more energy, more money, more time, and more of your life force, then if you just get clear that you are CHOOSING to do this and you WANT to do it.

The primary reason we want to create financial well being and financial independence so to have more freedom of choice.

Choice about how do we spend our time, how we spend our energy, how we spend our money.

Choice of who we hang out with.

Choice of where we live, who we live with and how we live.

Yet, many people get either terrified or deeply offended knowing that most of the things in their life are already a choice.

Very close cousins of Obligation and Choice are Needs versus Wants.

Again, when it comes to our time, our energy and specifically our money many people will say to me,

“Ann, you don’t understand, I neeeeeeeeeed to spend my money on this.”

Most of the time, that isn’t true.

Of course there are many, many, many people around the world for whom just the basic, basic needs in their life – needs of basic survival, of basic shelter, of basic security – aren’t met.

And, if you’re reading this, or watching this video. If you’re able to access the internet, it’s unlikely that that’s you.

You are already at an economic stage in life in which many, many areas for you are actually a want, not a need.

Let’s celebrate that fact!

Getting clear about these two distinctions is nowhere more important and a necessary than in your outflows.

I’m talking about your expenses and the cost of your chosen lifestyle.

When we can approach the review of our expenses through the lens of choice versus obligation, needs versus wants, it’s one of the most freeing things we can do.

Now we can own the truth that some things are a choice and own the fact that these costs are things are a want. If we don’t really want them, we can choose to eliminate the expense.

We are no longer victims to circumstance.

Now we can say “I’m choosing to spend my money on that.”

And, because we own the truth that these things are choices and wants we get to ask the most valuable question of all. “Am I really getting value from this expense, does this choice really serve me?”

If we are unconscious about our spending or keep lying about the fact that we have choice, we project all sorts of false obligation onto our life and relationships.

“Oh Ann you don’t understand, I have to help rescue by siblings from their debt habits” , “My kids have to go to that school” “I have to pay for my parents home”

In the wise words of Wayne Dyer

“Relationships based on obligation lack dignity.“

If we believe we are obligated and have no choice, we are trapped and that’s how we stay away from our freedom.

When we are courageous enough to spend time looking at where money is going to, through these filters of choice versus false obligation, wants versus false needs, we understand the principle that…

ann wilson meme

It’s also how you choose to spend your time and your energy.

Ask yourself…

  • How do you choose to spend your life force?
  • Are you spending a whole lot of time, energy, money on supposed obligations where in fact they are choices?
  • Are you spending your money, energy and time on what you think you need to do rather than what you want to do?

When you get clear on what you really value and want, and spend more of your precious resources on these choices and wants, instead of false obligations and needs, the freer you become.

In the comments below, I’d love to know…

  • In what area of your life do you need to claim back your freedom of choice? Those areas where, when you think about it you go… “Hang on Ann, I’ve maybe been thinking this was an obligation not a choice, or this was a need not a want and I can free up money, time, and energy by claiming back my agency in this area of the life.”

Please share as much detail as possible as thousands of Wealth Chef’s in the making come here each week for advice, insight and inspiration as they create their juicy financially free lives too.

Your ideas and shares may trigger someone to have a big breakthrough and perhaps give someone else the courage to take the step they need to take to be free and have the courage to feel incompetent.

Thanks as always for reading, watching and sharing so generously and for choosing to master this key ingredient money and live your juiciest life.

And if you’re up for a challenge, spend some time looking at your expenses and go through it hunting out the false obligations and false needs. You never know, you might find loads of expenses you can eliminate from your life because they’re not adding value to you.

This is one of the many things you’ll do in the Squeeze The Juice Challenge if you choose to really claim back your freedom of choice.

Remember, your freedom is created just one step at a time and that’s all you need to do. Keep taking that one step.

With huge love



Your email address will not be published.


  • Yael says:

    I’m paying the for the highest health insurance coverage at the moment for me and my children. Is that a want rather than a need?

  • michelle says:

    Hi Ann, for me it is time share. That I felt was necessary to have family holidays. Subsequently my children have left the country and I have found the fees to be excessive and no longer see the value of the point system and need to release myself of. This unwanted debt. It seems so difficult to release myself from.


Your email address will not be published.