A few days ago I was reading a story about someone in the public eye who felt a lot of pressure now that they had reached a certain age. This person said that there were a number of things that they should have achieved at their age.
These were things that society told them that they needed to achieve in order to be seen as successful. Most of the things that society told them they needed to have achieved at their age were things that they hadn’t achieved, causing them to feel like a failure
A Strange Scenario
To hear this person open up about this was a surprise, especially as this person has so much going for them. They are rich, famous, and they have a vocation that, by the looks of it, brings their life a lot of meaning.
What this person didn’t have was a loving partner or children, by the sounds of it. It is likely that there are millions of people on this planet that would die to have the kind of life that this person has.
The Problem with Comparison
Not only this, but there are no doubt millions, if not billions, of people on this planet that could feel like a failure if they were to compare their life to this person. What this shows is that someone is always going to come up short if they compare their life with others or some sort of ideal.
And when it comes to what society says equates to success, it relates to what other people have come up with. Ultimately, success is not something that can be defined by others; it is something that one has to define for themselves.
One could achieve all the things that society says equates to success and end up being anything but happy and fulfilled. But as they would have listened to what is going on out there and overlooked their own inner self, this is to be expected.
When it comes to one living a life that is worth living, a life where they know they are on the right track, they will need to listen to themselves. If they do this, the life that they lead might not seem spectacular to others, but they won’t have time to care about any of that.
If someone doesn’t want to live like most people, they can end up getting off the grid, and, when one lives a life that is based on their own values, they will be getting off the beaten track, so to speak. The truth is that one is not here to be a carbon copy of anyone else; they are here to express who they are.
To go against the grain can take courage, but the alternative to this is to just go along with what other people are doing. This can allow one to fit in; what it won’t do is allow them to live a life that is in alignment with who they are.
So if someone can see that they have been trying to live up to society’s version of success and this doesn’t match up with what success means to them, it will be a good idea for them to take a step back and to question what they believe. What they may find, after they start to work through the beliefs that they have picked up from others, is that they feel less pressure and feel more comfortable in their own skin, living their own life.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.