“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of all-time great philosophers and one of my own favorites, had it right. If you happen to be amongst the minority of courageous people who remains true to yourself and live life on your own terms, consider yourself incredibly accomplished because what you’ve done and continue to do is certainly no easy feat.
We live in a world where we are constantly pressured to strive for a life that does not necessarily align with our own desires, goals and dreams. Many of us find ourselves living lives that reflect the expectations of others, be it from family, friends, and/or society, instead of our own. This is not a huge surprise seeing that the pressure and expectation to succeed has been put upon us since we were children so how could we have known better?. As the years go by, as adults, we found ourselves putting our own desires, hopes and dreams further in the back burner because we felt that we’ve invested far much time, money, effort to the life that we already built. After all, we’ve got bills to pay, dependents to take care of and expectations to meet, who has got the luxury of dreams?. In other words, we convinced ourselves to believe the fear of not meeting the expectations of our loved ones and those we respect have lead us to accept the notion that not everyone is lucky enough to live the life of their dreams.
If the above happens to resonate, here’s a statistic that you might not have come across before: according to the book “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying“, amongst those interviewed, their number 1 regret is not having lived life on their own terms. In essence, these people whom were in the last 12 weeks of their lives felt that the regret of not taking the chance to go after their ideal life when they had the chance trumps everything else they have done or have not done during the course of their lifetime.
No matter what we have been lead to believe, the truth is that each one of us have the capability to live life on our own terms. However, in order to live a life that you would be proud of, you must decide to muster up the courage to shun expectations of others and start living a life which aligns with your vision of a life worth living. Hence, sooner or later, you must decide that you have the power to choose what success means to you and dare to live life as you please. As Steve Jobs said “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.