We were all brought up with people in our lives who tried to guide us in the right direction. Most of our guardians were people who used their past experiences to mold us in a way that they believe would lead us to be better people than they were.
If you think about it seriously, our parents and guardians most times were trying to make us into either themselves or what they wanted to be. There are no true classes or manual on parenting, it is all trial and error and because of that we become a splitting image of our parents or total opposites in some cases.
Many of our parents and guardians lived their lives with unfulfilled dreams. Since their dreams weren't fulfilled, they believe it is their job to live vicariously through us. Very few of us were taught to think and to make decisions for ourselves, and so we grew into people who most times just do as we were told. We were told to go to school, get a job, get married, save for retire and we go through the motions and most of us have.
Today is the day to change things around and think and do the things you want and love.
Below are 20 things we were all told to do, and we all did most of them and never questioned why. Everybody does it, and we all fall in line and start chasing after them without thinking about alternatives.
1. Go after the American dreams
Too many of us have tried and failed. What dream are you chasing? A house, a car and some money to retire and try to enjoy when you are too old to do so? These were dreams of our forefathers, and they had different dreams and lived in a different time. Why then are you still today chasing after what they were chasing 40 years ago? Why not create your dream and go after it.
Think about what you love and without hesitation go after it. Do not continue to go after something that is outdated and almost unachievable. Why do you want to suffer like our forefathers did when you don't have to?
You have everything you need to be creative, inventive and successful, but you allow society to dictate what you need to achieve to be successful. Put your efforts into working towards the dreams you want for yourself and not the dreams you were told you should have.
2. Working for security
There is no such thing as thriving for security. Nothing is guaranteed, and neither is spending your time working to become safe. You should become nervous when you start feeling secure and safe. It means you aren't doing the right thing. You go to work and toil hard trying to achieve someone else's dream only to be secure? You get a paycheck, but the dream you spent your entire life building was not yours.
You hate your job and the people for whom you are working yet you sacrifice your dream and life so they can achieve their dream only that you could feel secure. Guess what, you will never be safe. The economy changes, you get older or become ill from the stress and strain of that job, and you are let go without anyone even thinking twice about it. Where is your security then?
Use your time and energy to build your dream so you can be secure. Refuse to conform to the norm. Even though it is uncomfortable and scary to step out on your own do so for yourself and be prepared to sacrifice twice as much for your dream as you did for someone else and reaped the reward you should. Believe in yourself and your dream and then you can become secure permanently because you would have done it your way.
3. Working for money
How many of us spent our entire lives running after money only to get it and lose it or never have gotten it at all? Those who have gotten it spent their entire lives trying to hold onto money that doesn't love them.
The more we get, the more we want and the more unhappy we become with it. Money doesn't and will never buy you happiness even though it will buy lots of things.
You can get the money you want and more, but you must be prepared to chase your passion foremost, and then the money you so desire will come, that then will make you happy. You would have achieved your dreams, and that alone should bring you the happiness you deserve and along with it the money.
Spend your life doing what you love along with helping others and you will realize how much more meaningful your life becomes. Find what you love to do and give it everything you've got. You will be happy, and you will also have money.
4. Thriving to get material things
There isn't anything wrong with acquiring material things but when you find yourself trying harder and harder to acquire more it means you are trying to fill an empty void in your life. The more you get, the more it will require to keep you high but that high will be short lived. Find your purpose in life and that will fill your life, not material things. Spend time with the people who truly loves you and you will feel better about yourself.
5. Thriving to remain young and beautiful
Millions are spent each year by people fighting the aging process. Nobody wants to look their age anymore. Everyone is fighting to find the fountain of youth and no one's ever found it, so we keep searching.
We work out harder than ever, buy beauty products hoping that they will turn the clocks back yet we find ourselves aging faster and faster because we are stressed, frustrated, angry and unhappy. We lose our self-esteem confidence and self-worth in the process yet we keep going after something that keeps eluding us.
Why not take the money and the time to focus on accepting yourself the way you are and celebrate your difference instead of trying to change who you are. You should work on your inside to build your confidence, self-respect and self-acceptance then there will be no need for the outer mask that it is. We all try to fix up the outside to hide our pain that is on the inside. Confident people do not have the need to be something other than themselves.
6. Craving approval from strangers.
Most of us buy the most expensive cars, house, clothing and other things to get approval from people we do not even know. We stifle what we feel inside always trying to say the right things for fear of upsetting someone else yet we have no problem upsetting and humiliating ourselves in the process. Once we get the approval from those we crave we are quite contended in suffering. It is very sad to say but most of the people we crave attention from doesn't care or even notice that we exist.
You need to understand that the only approval you need is yours. You do not need anyone's approval to be yourself. You do not need anyone's approval to make decisions as it relates to your life. You need to accept yourself the way you are and if they can appreciate the real you then they are worth your time. Put all your energies into making yourself someone that you will be proud of. That is what matters.
7. Craving for love
We spent our youth searching for the love of someone instead of loving ourselves first. Everyone is searching for love. There are so many matchmaking sites and everyone claiming to have what it takes to find you, true love.
When you take the time to chase constantly after people and things that don't have any relation nor love for you, you are wasting your life. True love only comes knocking when you have resisted the urge to fight and claw for it every and anywhere you think it might be. You save yourself the hurt, anger and frustration if you take the time to love yourself first.
Take the time to love you then it doesn't matter who else loves you because you would have found the greatest love of all. If you do not love yourself, there is no one in the world who can love you enough. You will always be missing the most important person's love, and that's yours.
8. Waiting for happiness
Most of us are planning on some big achievement to be happy. I will be happy when I finish grad school, start a business or get married. Unfortunately, life doesn't always go our way, and we spent most of our lives waiting to be happy while our lives pass us by. Happiness is not an event. You have to choose to be happy, and you do not need anything to be happening in your life or any big event to be happy.
You can choose to be happy anytime and any day of the week. You do not need to achieve anything nor do you need anyone to be happy. You have to choose to be happy where you are at the moment. You have to choose to be happy and contend where you are in your life while working to get where you want to be. Do not place your happiness on achievements or events that might never happen.
9. Craving the next big thing
We live in the world where things change by the minute. Technology has improved our lives in such a way that things are changing daily and so we believe we have to keep up with these changes. Unfortunately, we can't. There aren't enough hours in the day for any of us to keep chasing after the next great idea or big thing. Just chasing after some illusion won't get you anywhere.
Things will come and go, and you will still be left trying to find the thing that has eluded you. Instead, of you chasing after the next big thing why not carve out your path and follow it. Quit going after these things and become a free thinker. What is it that excites you? Find it and go after it with all your might but it must be yours, not anyone else's.
10. Craving success
It is normal to want to become successful at what you do, but you must be able to see success at every stage of your life. You do not have to become a doctor or a millionaire to realize that you have been successful. Cut out your path to success and believe in yourself.
Success to you might not mean the same to everyone else. You might want to help people instead of making a lot of money. If that is what success means to you go and do it. Another person might need the money to feel that they have achieved much but remember money doesn't make you happy.
Following your heart and accepting the obstacles life puts in your way and being able to overcome them with dignity and grace will help to make you successful. It's the people you help along the way that will make you feel like you have accomplished much. Being successful is creating the life you love and taking the time to enjoy it. It is never about how much and what you have in the long run.
Take the time to find and be yourself. In the end that is all that matters. Whose dream have you chased and come up short?
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