If you’re like most of us, you’re going through life trying to figure out the best way to fit in. Because unfortunately we’ve been conditioned to measure our worth against that of our neighbor, we get caught up in the rat race of keeping up with everybody else, of doing what everybody else is doing. Graduate high school, go to university, get married, get a good job, have kids, and retire someplace sunny. If everyone is doing it, you tell yourself, it must be the right thing to do.
Sound familiar? Don’t make this mistake. You’re worth more than that. You are like art in that “an original is worth more than a copy.” It’s time to be true to yourself and the find the happiness that you deserve.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy
To a certain degree, conforming to social expectations is something humans have traditionally done out of need for survival. In fact, conformity is so ingrained in our being that social rejection actually elicits a feeling of danger in our brain. The opposite happens when we follow the crowd.
It can be difficult to fight this feeling. But think of this important life lesson: “Don’t follow the crowd, follow your own way. Do what you love.” How will you ever grow as an individual if you are so concerned with being like everybody else? Try to work up the courage and the motivation to be unique. Being an individual in a world full of copies is one of the best ways to find success in doing what you love.
“In the end… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have,and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carroll
Remember how much fun you had that one winter semester you took off from school to work at a ski resort? Or how amazing the view was from atop the mountain you climbed with friends you met at your hostel? No? That’s because you were too busy being like everybody else to do something you love.
Here is the brutal truth: “You will badly regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things you did that were wrong.” The important life lesson here is that even if you make a mistake in life, you still learn something new. That’s far more valuable that not taking risks, not making mistakes, and not learning anything new. This life lesson should be all the motivation you need.
“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” – Virginia Woolf
Too often we think that happiness lies in finding ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we’ve learned that our true self is somewhere, hidden away, and it is our life’s purpose to find it. How many times have you heard somebody commenting that they had to get away to find themselves?
Focusing on finding yourself is not the path to happiness. The reason behind this lies in a life lesson taken from Buddhism: “The self is always changing.” If you accept this idea, you realize that it becomes impossible to find your true self. Instead, you have the power to change yourself at any given moment in life. Now, you can focus on being the person you want to be and on finding happiness.
Take an honest look at your life. Are you being true to yourself or to the expectations of everyone around you? Remember, your value lies in being original. You owe it to yourself to be true to your dreams, to pursue your happiness, and to live life without regrets.
Featured photo credit: Negative Space via pexels.com
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