Living life on your terms means that you have choices and you make them. It means refusing to compromise on the things that matter most and investing in building what is important to you.
I will always keep this simple fact in the forefront of my mind. I will carry it around safely and consider it first and foremost- the life I live is for me. The decisions I make are either to my pleasure, to my success, to my happiness or to my detriment. I don’t exist merely to live out another’s wishes for me or to people please. I am here to be true to myself, to shine brighter than I’d ever dare to think and to be a travel blazer. One who dares bravely to forge a new path and to leave behind social, culture, religious and economic constructs of the way people in this world should operate. To be bravely myself, to be unique, authentic and always show a real side that allows people to be close to me. To not put on a mask to the world. To refuse to be quiet, small or false when I can be bold, adamant and loud. I pledge to live a life that I will be proud of. To spend my years in a bubble of semi productive bliss and to make enough memories to share grand and wonderful stories of life with my generations to come. I am not here to be a carbon copy of the people that came before me, even if they are family. It is not my job to clench tightly to old ideals and archaic ways of thinking.
Your confidence is unshakeable when you are free to be your authentic self
When you move through life with confidence, you invite other people to view you as confident, easy going and with a healthy sense of self assurance. You will encounter less obstructions this way. It seems counter productive to encourage a shy person to break out of the bounds of what they know and offer themselves up to a plethora of potentially embarrassing and confronting situations but this is an experience that speaks to growth. Nobody goes around knowing everything and anybody who believes they do is foolish. The saying goes that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with and this couldn’t ring more true. I will always believe that if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong place. I couldn’t and wouldn’t choose to stifle my growth by shutting myself off to the very thing that will enhance my life and create a domino effect of betterment.
Separate yourself from others and their lack of willingness to show up as changed and evolved
In order to understand others, you must first be familiar with basic psychology. At the end of the day, others can only meet you from the position they’re at. It’s perfectly healthy to have expectations of other people as long as this doesn’t extend to putting them on a pedestal and hoping they’ll fix all that is wrong with you and the world. I find that this lack of understanding as a result of division of experience causes a lot of conflict. People don’t see eye to eye and a situation that is one way is perceived entirely differently. It is inevitable that at some point we’ll find ourselves in a situation that upsets our basic sense of well being. We have a tendency to deal with what bothers us by assigning blame to a person or situation that we see as having caused our suffering. A way of lightening the load. Once we have identified the stressor, the cause of a disturbance, we set out and try and fix it. We attempt to change behaviours and a situation to be right in our minds, to make sense or in the very least to be a compromise.
There is no doubt that people and situations can cause us direct discomfort. Another’s actions can have a run on effect in our lives and cause a real tizzy, even without or involvement. It’s a simple fact that we have an impact on one another, whether for good or bad, better or worse. This is the great fabric of society, the webbing that keeps us held together and intertwined. There is nothing innately wrong with trying to change a situation that isn’t as it should be. Such efforts are actually wise, adaptive and a way to take agency in our lives. However, we need to put aside the desire to skillfully mould others so they are more to our liking. Freedom from the seemingly never ending cycle of blaming and fixing comes as a result of a shift in our attention. Instead of looking to the other person or to a problem that needs fixing, we should go inwards and look at ourselves under that same glare. This is not to say that you are responsible for how you feel as a result of something but to encourage self investigation, a tool that creates real freedom from suffering and doesn’t incite blame. Ask yourself- what does this situation or person’s behaviour trigger within me to generate such pain and confrontation?
You can’t change people. You can change your expectations. You can set boundaries and make decisions about how much time and effort you give. You can refocus your attention. You can practice acceptance and letting go.
But you can’t mold someone into who you want or need them to be. You can’t force them to make a shift before they’re ready. You can’t ask them to become someone different than who they authentically are. You shouldn’t have to. And that can be a painful truth to sit with. That no matter how much you beg and explain things. No matter how many times you say what you need and communicate what hurts, that a person you care about can’t show up for you in the way you need. That sometimes, there’s no one to blame and nothing to fix.
Hope is the hardest thing to kill in a human being
I’m hopeful- this is something I think a lot and say even more frequently. If I do not cultivate an attitude of deservedness, an air of ambition, then what do I have to believe in? This mere notion of believing in one’s potential, of being confident in your capabilities and the lengths you’ll go to in achieving success or a way out of struggle is what keeps us afloat. It’s incredibly empowering, thoughtful, inspiring and it instills a great drive in you. Extinguishing hope in a human being is like blowing out a candle that just refuses to die down. It’s impassioned and there’s a great fight for the simple right to exist as one is whilst striving to be and do more.
It is a great honour to be clothed in strength, to let hope blaze in your very name. Recent history has shown us that hope can be contagious and courage can take on a life of its own. Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the bravery of those who dare to reach higher, to touch unknown depths and step into unknown plains, to those who dare to build a beautiful reality in a world where we are inundated by ordinary and average people and pursuits. Hope is the companion of power and mother of success, for who so hopes strongly has within them the gift of miracles.
To be afforded dignity is the greatest of all honours
I’m hoping to be afforded dignity and respect as I find my place in society and better learn what it means to be human. What does it mean to be human to you? I don’t know about you but I’d venture to say that Sophia the Robot is onto something. I couldn’t have worded this better. In case you’re curious, Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong based company known as Hanson Robotics. Sophia was created on the fourteenth of February, back in twenty sixteen. She made her first public appearance and Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. Sophia was first introduced the fourteenth of february, back in twenty sixteen and made her first public appearance at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, United States. However, I digress.
The concept of human dignity is often thrown about, most commonly in medical fields where it concerns terminal or very sickly patients. It ties in with privacy and being allowed the autonomy to make decisions for the future whilst still capable that accurately represents one’s wishes. Being the partner of someone with an incurable and degenerative lung condition, it has been made very apparent to me that the need for control, for compassion, for understanding, is great.
It is necessary to confront your ego and set it aside if you wish to turn your weaknesses into strengths
As long as your ego remains in the driver’s seat of your life, directing and making all the twists and turns, you’ll crumble. You will speak with a harsh tongue and remain fragile. Why not be free from the building judgement and pressure that you self impose? Your ego will always distract you from who you want to be. You will continue to get in your own way and remain blindsided to the ways in which you hinder yourself. It is of no use to believe that we can do no wrong or that we know best. Don’t try and convince yourself that everything will get better and work in your favour unless you’re willing to put in the work.
Most of all though, holding onto your ego will cause you to become distanced from those you love. When you hold your ego too close, you become defensive easily. You feel threatened and as if your whole being relies on this fancy narrative that you’ve conjured up playing out as you see fit. Your whole being comes to rely on your ego and your vulnerabilities make you feel frail. When we hold onto our egos too tightly, we create an air of competition and will always feel on edge. Don’t accept a life where you are forced to walk on eggshells. Not every conversation is a battle, nor is it black and white. Not all situations call for blame to be place on one person. Always speak your heart and reach for a solution. Put aside your ego and forget your pride in this moment. Don’t hold onto words unsaid or let your pain linger. Don’t care more about how others will perceive you than you care about moving obstacles to self growth out of your way.
Being self aware and brave enough to call out your own toxic traits is a necessity
What keeps you from saying what you wish to, even when you have the most compelling innermost longing? Why do you refuse to bare your heart and mind and show your real emotions? Why do you feel so little, so incredibly hindered, by something that holds no power? A prideful and unhealthy ego will see you turn into somebody incredibly boastful whom you don’t even recognise. If you confront this mere concept, however, if you take away it’s hold, you’ll find your weaknesses being transformed.
We were all born imperfect and are familiar with the stumbles and falls that can eventually feel routine. We are built with certain strengths and weaknesses that allow us to be serve our purpose in the world. What matters most in life is how you embrace your struggles as a part of your entirety. Work on your downfalls instead of masking them. What is unseen can still exist and with a potency. Holding onto shame will not help you grow or make you satisfied. Don’t live a life at constant war with yourself. Confronting the fact that your weaknesses exist will see you develop a greater awareness of your needs and desires. It will clear your mind enough to allow your strengths to shine and overtake the darkness.
Holding others to a certain standard and having expectations is not unreasonable in the least
There is a difference between taking people as they are whilst encouraging their betterment and letting go of all expectations so you don’t experience resentment or disappointment. I don’t wish to surround myself with people who lead lives that are unmarred and without flaws. Instead, I’m drawn to a powerful collective energy of people having risen up and received what they deserve. Flaws speak to years of experience, of ups and downs, of scars from life. Each tells a story.
If I operate by the same theory as most people and don’t expect anything from others, where does my encouragement to strive for more lie? If I’m not to expect certain behaviours from others, what motivates them to develop into a wiser and more thoughtful version of themselves? This rings especially true for significant relationships where your influence is so tied in with how the person sees themselves and what they strive for. If I didn’t have expectations of myself, I’d fall short and I’d be slack. I wouldn’t be a writer, a photographer. I wouldn’t be entering college or keeping my blog running for over six years.
It took more than having goals to push myself past hurdles and the commitment of being in things for the long run, through rain and shine. Simply put, I expected greatness of myself. If I failed to hold others to these same standards, I’d only serve to lower myself and keep bad, uninspired, lazy company. As they say, one bad apple can turn a bunch rotten. What you need in life is a range of go getters, do gooders. Those who care greatly and have respect for others, their time and their pursuits. You are not wrong for wanting to see the emotional and mental side of people. It is tempting to close off your mind, heart and refuse to share your life but this will only lead to a mid life crisis. We are a disconnected society that have forgotten that vulnerability connects and bonds us. We are slow to take responsibility. We fail to carry out or jobs and believe others will pick up the slack. Having expectations of others is wanting common courtesy. We should refresh our moral codes when dealing with others and apply what we’ve learnt. Nothing more is required. We just need to be willing to put ourselves in another’s shoes.
Other people can only meet you where they’re at, not necessarily where you’re at
Especially when it comes to matters of the heart, where a rejection or unexpected response from another party cuts deep, it’s critical to remember that others can only do what they know, think what they’ve been taught or programmed to believe, speak to experience and act as they always have. It can be somewhat grandiose to believe that our mere presence is enough to change a person entirely and draw out something in them that can be described as a higher self. People must first discover themselves and do so entirely in solitude. Then they can draw from these realisations and add to what they currently offer. We harm ourselves when we set out to change another person, particularly someone who we have history with and whom has demonstrated themselves to be one way time and time again. We can’t hold on so tightly to the past that we forget our values and what we have to offer to another person who is experiencing life on the same frequency and path as us.