On Facing Your Lane and Following Your Path

"When you realize how quickly the memory of the dead is forgotten, that's when you will start living your life to please no one." - Toke Makinwa

    Source - The Financial Diet

For reasons I don't really know, many people are people-pleasers, including me. Somehow, and somewhere we became conditioned to first think about what others think about us. This inhibits us more than we are willing to admit. We don't want to be too much, and we don't want to not be enough; just right so people are comfortable. The sad part though, is people will still talk. You are damned if you do and still damned if you don't. So why don't you just do?

Before I continue, there is a slightly confusing angle to this. Now, a more common habit is the tendency to loathe accountability. So even though people exhibit everything described in the last paragraph above, you hear a lot of I don't care what people think about me.  People who say this the most are the biggest people-pleasers among us. The same way people who make noise about hating drama have the most drama. I digress. A disdain for accountability creates an excuse for many people to live life on their own terms, without any care in the world. That's not quite right. Live life on your own terms, but in a different way (which I will elaborate below). No matter who you are or what you do, you need to be accountable to someone, something, somehow. You should also, to some extent care about what others think about you, because it can help you act right. I'm not contradicting myself. The difference here is, you care about bettering your life, so you set up a dependable and reliable tribe of people whose opinions you absolutely trust, either because they have a wealth of experience or are just generally wise counsel. After all, the bible says whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel". So yes, care...but only to some extent.

What you should not do is live for others; live for pleasing and impressing others. Don't let people project their insecurities on you. Because people will; they will find every way to remind you how much your life sucks. Especially if you are...different. People don't understand different, so they mistake it for bizarre or defunct. Usually though, they will mask this with faux concern. They will trivialize what you do, and will rarely celebrate you. Learn to rise above it. The need to please people and the obsession over what people will say, or how they will react, or how to explain your life choices will cripple you into inaction. Your life choices are just that: YOUR life choices. You don't owe most people any explanation. And for the most part, people do NOT care; they are just bored, being nosy, or want to be absolutely sure you are doing worse than them. When God created us, onto each of us he assigned our paths. Do not let people put unnecessary pressure on you. There is no one way to have a fulfilling, blessed, and happy life.

Sometimes, we are the ones putting the pressure on ourselves. We have convinced ourselves that life is one-size-fits-all  with a series of items on a checklist we must get through at certain ages. You have to be content with who you are and what you have. You have to face your own journey and your own path. It doesn't matter who is richer between you and your friends; it doesn't matter who gets married or has kids first; it doesn't matter who drives the better car. What matters is you. I recently had a great discussion with my friend, E. And since it's quite important advice, I will share it here as well. Instead of using other people's yardstick as a measure of your life's success. How about you draw up a plan of what success means to YOU? Not what success means to people where you live; not what success means to your group of friends or to your parents...no, what does it mean to you? Then go from there. Bear in mind, it may not even look like the typically formula—finish school, get a job, get married, have a house, and have kids. Or perhaps it's some interesting version of those or in a different order than people expect. Recently, Osemhen of Eureka Naija blogged about the end and it was so poignant, and filled with depth. How does it end for you? How do you want it to end, because that can be incredibly helpful for planning the journey. Create the terms for this path, and thrive in it.

Write it down...but make sure your plans are for you. Of course, keep God in mind but don't worry about him too much. God has empowered us with choices and opportunities. He doesn't care for the mundane as much as he yearns for a heart that seeks him. But I will repeat this, make sure you want that thing because YOU do, and not because it proves you are better than lagbaja. Respect your lane and your unique, yet beautiful journey.  I will reiterate from this post, you will never have peace if you keep comparing yourself to others.

"It is better to be a great sergeant, than to be a poor general." -TD Jakes




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