As I make the transition from a wild, inconsiderate, social, wreckless, extroverted, always-wants-to-be-where-the-party-is youth, to a quiet, introspective, hard-working, cautious, book reading, always-contemplating, independent, forever-wondering-why-I-exist adult, I realize more and more that at times in this journey I have (usually unbeknown to me at the time) lived a life filled with “should”s.
I should, you should, we should
Growing up bombarded left right and center by the media, the ‘others’ , ‘them’ and of course, the ever-present peer pressure (curse you peer pressure!). Along with the expectations, hopes and dreams set for you by your family members – it is hard not to live a life molded for you by those that are around you. From what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what to study, what career path to pursue, what religion to follow and even who to date/marry – (yeah, it’s actually quite intense). If one is not careful, you can easily end up living a life solely on behalf of society and the people around you.
What I have realized in my more recent years is that in the bigger scheme of things, there are no “should”s, there are no “must be’”s and there are no “have to”s. There are no shoulds in the Universe, things just happen, the Sun doesn’t shine because it feels obligated to, the Earth doesn’t rotate because it’s trying to fit in, flowers are not pressurized to bloom, the wildebeest don’t migrate because “all the cools kids are doing it”. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s true, Mother Nature is not affected by peer pressure and could not care less about your opinion or your petty, generic advice – she’s got this life thing on lock.
Assess your life, contemplate your actions
When you are doing something solely because you feel like you should be doing it, you need to take a step back and ask yourself what it is that you (the real you, that is hiding somewhere beneath all the layers of propaganda, confusion, and external expectations) actually wants, how do YOU actually feel. We tend to forget that we are ultimately the creators of the lives that we live, and that there is no need to follow a path laid out for us, by those that are around us.
But still!.. The shoulds are everywhere
Unfortunately, as you will eventually find out, the shoulds are everywhere, if not from with-out, then from with-in. Yes, I am much older now and the peer pressure has definitely subsided, yet I still feel like there are a lot of shoulds following me wherever I go, whether it be in my business life, in my personal life, in my relationships or otherwise. There are still things that I feel I should be doing, places I should be going, articles I should be writing, things I should be learning, software applications I should be developing, money that I should be making, a lifestyle that I should be living and not because I want to, no – but because that is what I feel is expected of me by the world/the others/society/everyone else. And as much as I feel that I do know better now (which I do… I think), I will admit that it is still a daily struggle.
So what should I do?
That’s the thing, I should not do anything, I just need to be and the rest will sort itself out.
“Trust yourself, think for yourself, act for yourself, speak for yourself, be yourself. Imitation is suicide.” – Marva Collins
“Trust your intuition, another’s mind is not walking your journey. You are” – Scottie Waves
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Somewhere in the bible.