What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
I for one had lived, on occasion, many years trying to live up to what people expected of me. The pressure was hard to cope with, mainly because It is impossible to do. Sound familiar? In the end, the opposite happens – we fall way below those ‘potentials and possibilities’. Living by others wants just doesn’t work and it makes you feel unhappy. Those who lay the law down just frown when you miss their target. But it is us that can suffer as a result and we can end up punishing ourselves, badly in some cases.
It is a very liberating feeling when you decide enough is enough, and you do something ‘Your’ way. I experienced that again yesterday. I was forever seeking a close persons advice and my idea kept being replaced by theirs. A subject that has been in contention for many years, I decided to go ahead and do it ‘My way’. Their way was not working for me, and you know what? Going against that was brilliant! It made me happy! And It released a huge weight off my shoulders. Because I did it ‘My way’!
Ralph Ellison is right – If we keep doing what is expected of us, it truly is time lost. But if we start now, today, doing whatever it is we wish to do, the shackles come off and we become happier and we feel freer.
I didn’t tell this person what I had done because I didn’t want that frown I mentioned along with a hefty chunk of self-questioning guilt. So I changed the rules. Today, we all should all change the rules and follow whatever it is we wish to do. Do it, and forget seeking the council of those who won’t approve because, I can tell you, it is so worth it and a great feeling when you don’t!
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