Does any of this sound familiar to you?
It’s a new day, but you don’t feel like getting out of bed. Not because you’re still sleepy, but ‘cause you don’t have much to look forward to. You already know how your day is going to go – after all, you’ve been following the same routine for months, if not years. The predictability that comes with the sound of your alarm is draining and boring. And yet, deep down, you know that there’s something you’ve been dreaming of doing, something which could change your mornings from mundane to exciting. The problem is, you’ve compromised this dream for the sake of the opinions of others. You basically let what other people think of your life choices get in the way of your passion.
I think it’s safe to say that by the time we’re in our mid 20s and 30s we already know ourselves well enough to have an idea of what makes us happy. I don’t mean the kind of happiness that comes with owning a lot of material possessions or having a boyfriend/girlfriend.
I’m talking about the soul-nourishing happiness that comes from following your dreams and allowing your gut feeling, not the social norms or the opinions of others, to guide you through life.
Whether you want to live the life of travel (totally feasible, if in doubt, read this article), become an artist, climb Mt. Everest – you name it, the only person that can stop you from pursuing your dream is you. If you already know that there’s a greater purpose to life than waking up each day to do the job you hate and follow the routine that drains the happiness out of you, then you’re nearly half way there. Next step? Remembering that the opinion of others, whether they mean well or simply don’t want to see you succeed, is not something to go by when your dreams and passion are involved.
People’s opinions reflect who they are, not who you are
When someone tells you that you can’t do something, it’s usually a reflection of their own fears and insecurities. Just because they wouldn’t be able to do what you’re dreaming of doing, it doesn’t mean that you can’t! Don’t let somebody else’s self-imposed limitations stop you.
Their idea of happiness is different from yours
Some people find comfort and security in living their lives according to the traditional social norms. And while there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of a white picked fence and settling down in your early 20s, all awhile having a perfectly mundane yet secure job, if this isn’t your cup of tea, then simply don’t settle for it. The fact that your parents, your friends or your friends’ friends live this kind of life doesn’t mean that you have to. Life’s too short to follow somebody else’s idea of happiness. In the end, we will only regret the decisions and risks that we didn’t take, so if there’s something you’re dreaming of doing, follow your heart!
They are negative
Some of us always choose to see their glass half empty – and let me tell you, these are not the kind of people whose opinions you should listen to. Of course, we all need constructive criticism, but if criticism and negativity is all you ever get, then it’s clear that this person’s opinion is of no value to you. Smile, nod, and do your thing anyway!
They don’t want you to succeed
While the chances are that most people in your life wish you well, there will always be a few bad apples who simply don’t want you to do well for yourself. They might be jealous of you or simply spiteful, but whatever the reason is, stay clear of their opinions and don’t let them influence your choices in any way.
They don’t want you to fail
Some of your close ones don’t want you to take what they see as an unnecessary risk out of fear that you won’t succeed and will end up hurting yourself. So, next time your mum or dad asks you to think your plans through, don’t get upset at them. They aren’t doing this because they don’t believe in you, they just don’t want to see you getting hurt. At the same time, remember that failure is a part of life and it’s better to fail a million times and eventually succeed than never try in the first place. Some of the life’s most valuable lessons can be learnt while trying to reach your goal.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Have you ever had to ignore the opinion of your close ones to follow your passion?