With winter around the corner, it’s get-together season. You know what I mean. The times you’re meant to spend time with your friends and family for all the big holiday weekends. Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Halloween (already passed, but still relevant), Christmas, New Year’s. The list goes on, but not much longer than that.
It’s the time that everyone gets excited for, at least a little bit. Whether you’re planning parties, or planning a small thing, or waiting for invites to consider and ultimately decline, it can be a lot. Sometimes you’re left wondering if spending all that effort to end up with a hangover and a couple good pictures is worth it.
This sounds almost preachy, I’m aware, but it’s going somewhere. Here’s where it’s going: I’m not huge into loud situations, so I tend to prefer more subdued get-togethers. Obviously that’s not a black and white case, because I know how to throw down on the dance floor, and I know how to crack a damn good joke. (Why does this make me sound like someone’s dad?) It’s just sometimes, I lose the desire to get out and partake in that social event that everyone’s going to. I don’t like to do things just because everyone else is doing them.
And you know what? I get catch heat for that. Some people don’t understand the decisions I make because they’re not the same ones they’d make. There’s a lot of social pressure to go out, especially around holiday times. Obviously, because they’re days that everyone assigns significance to. Don’t get me wrong, I assign significance to holidays, but not as much as your average. And that’s okay with me.
I learned a little while ago that it’s okay to not go out to that big thing everyone’s going to if you don’t want to. I learned that it’s okay to ignore social pressure if what you want to do doesn’t go in the same direction everyone else is going in. I learned that when I make decisions for myself to spend my time how I want to, I end up happier. That’s what I’m going to expand on here.
It’s all about listening to yourself, and then being true to yourself by following through on what your mind is telling you to do. Clearly I’m making a distinction here. Your mind is the unconscious/subconscious bit of your brain that holds all the answers to your questions about what you want. You are the conscious part of your mind, the part that probes and asks those questions of the deep murky mysterious sea that is the mind.
Let’s get back on track.
Listen to the thoughts you’re having, and pay attention to any trends or common thoughts you notice. Thoughts are like samples of underlying feelings. So if you’re seeing a thought become more regular, follow it, and it’ll lead you to the source.
The important part comes after you’ve done all that work. Once you’ve figured out why you’re so tired of your job, or why you’re always avoiding doing a thing, or why you act a certain way about a certain thing, that’s where the fun begins. Now, you get to follow through on those feelings.
But following through and actually acting on something like that can be difficult. Life’s difficult, but it’s as easy as you make it. And if you end up making a point of trusting your gut, trusting yourself, it’s not so bad. Plus, you end up feeling better, happier, in general. That’s some real self-care right there.
And I know it’ll be scary, I’ve been on this journey for a while. It’s not easy to do something differently than how other people are doing it. It’s not easy to start your own business after studying something completely different from business for five years. It’s not easy to move to another country just because you don’t quite feel at home where you are. It’s not easy being cheesy. It’s not easy. But is it worth it to follow through? Hell yeah. Always.
It’s important to devalue the thoughts of others. That’s the most pretentious way I could think to say “stop caring what other people think”. I felt pretentious while writing that. But then again, I’m a guy with a blog, so by default I’m a tiny bit pretentious. Anyway…
It’s important to stop caring what other people think. Because they’re not you, and they don’t come from the same experience you did, so how could they possibly know what’s right for you? I’m not saying to disregard all advice given to you. Take it, listen to it. There’re a lot of wise people out there. It might make you consider something you hadn’t before, but ultimately, do what’s best for you.
Don’t let people talk you out of chasing your desires. Sure, what you’re doing isn’t the traditional route, but if everyone took the traditional route and didn’t innovate, we’d still be scraping rocks together for fire.
I’ve talked about happiness before and how it is a journey, not a destination. That concept still applies here. This is how you take that journey. This is how you become who you want to be. Be a little different, be a lot different.