I am what I am and that’s all that I am. – Popeye the Sailor
Are you living your own life or are you living the life that other people or some other person, expects you to live?
It’s a big question. If you’re living your life the way you want to live it then you have the opportunity to truly succeed. If you’re living the life of a poser, trying to be something or someone your really not, then despite what you may gain in life you’ll likely have trouble thinking of yourself as a true success.
Popeye had it figured out. He lived his life, his way, and that was that. If that wasn’t “good enough” for someone then they didn’t need to be part of his life. He was perfectly fine with that. No person’s opinion of him mattered more than his own.
That is a pretty healthy way to live.
Now, a few caveats. Living your life your way doesn’t mean you get to ignore all societal norms or the laws of the land. It doesn’t mean you aren’t required to share the planet with all it’s other inhabitants and it doesn’t mean you don’t have to use the resources of the planet responsibly.
Living your life your way just means that you don’t have to “adjust” your core values to meet the expectations of others. It means that you don’t have to look a certain way or believe anything that you don’t want to believe.
It means that you get to be you. It also means you get to have everything that comes with being whoever you want to be. Of course it also may mean that you don’t get to have some things that you might be able to have if you were different than you are. But hey, we all make choices.
No one can take your self-respect unless you’re their accomplice. Other people can think what they want of you but they can’t make you think less or more of yourself … unless you let them. So don’t allow other people to judge you; ignore the haters and naysayers and live the life that you choose for yourself.
Now, here’s the part of the post that’s meant as much for me as it is for anyone else. You might not like the second part of the post as much as the first.
If you’re not going to let other people judge you and you’re going to live your life as YOU see fit then you must stop judging other people and stop trying to get other people to live their life the way you think they should.
You’ll be better off in most every way if you stop judging people and start trying to understand them instead.
The moment you judge someone your judgement about them becomes clouded. You’re using your life experiences and your life values to determine how they should look, act, and behave. But they ain’t you. It’s highly unlikely that they view life through the same lens that you do. It’s their experiences, background, issues, hopes and goals that make them who they are. And they ain’t you!
So stop thinking they should be, or worse, that they need to be. You will find it far easier to accept who you are when you learn to accept others as they are.
Just accept it!