To anyone who is on the journey to a better self, working on achieving personal goals and dreams, nothing throws you off or slows you down like appeasing others. When you give in to external pressures, although it might seem like not much at first, the likelihood of you doing something similar again is very likely. There will then come a point where it will all eventually hurt you for continuously doing so. And at that time, to regret would be the only thing left to do. It definitely is not an admirable position to be in. So how then do you navigate the social and emotional blackmail that might be attached to you having to accede to or satisfy the demands and pressures?
Firstly, establish if that “blackmail” is real. More often than not, we like to assume the worst of others. Not that everyone is good but we need to separate them from those with ill intent.
Secondly, seek to understand where the other party is coming from. This will allow you to be more confident of your personal stance and actions. Having a clear conscience helps to dispel the social and emotional blackmail that comes with the request.
Finally, understand that it is okay to not please everyone, especially if it is going to hurt you if you were to do so. When all is said and done, you have to be at peace with yourself.
So if you value yourself and perhaps your sanity even, politely but firmly say “no” to those that do not share your values. The short-term gain is short-lived at best.
To many, failure is something that must be avoided at all cost but what if the attitude towards it changes? What if instead of avoiding it because we have been told that it is something bad, we embrace it instead? Imagine how robust society would become. When failure is celebrated, more dreams would be achieved. Simply because the idea of risk has a different meaning now. More people would want to attempt to do something great, even if they had to fail many times at it, because not doing so would then be seen as something negative. Status quo would be celebrating the “risk takers” while they are at it, not when they have finally achieve the success. The world would be a much different place. Sure, mechanisms have to be put in a place to enable this. The idea of social norms would have to be redefined. But our progress and advancements would be greatly accelerated. So if you cannot change the policies and society at large right now, perhaps you want to start in your immediate circle of influence or even with yourself for that matter. Accumulate as many failure badges as possible. The more of those you own, the more closer you are to your dreams and goals.
The time you have in this life is a gift. It will not last forever so please make the best use of it. Each day is an opportunity for you to do the things that will allow you to achieve your goals and dreams so master your day. Set yourself a schedule. Add in all the planned meetings and events in it. If you are serious about it, add in your eating, sleeping and any other miscellaneous activities into your calendar. Do your best to abide by it. When someone comes to you to take some time off of you, be firm and politely schedule the person appropriately. It will be weird at first but do it anyway. Eventually you will get use to it and people will begin to respect you and your time. Have adequate rest and watch your diet and fitness. They too have a large effect on how you go about your day. Note that your schedule will change as you will figure out better ways to schedule your day. Just simply adapt. Do everything you can to give yourself the winning edge.
We have always been taught of a certain way to do things. That to change the way things have been is a waste of time and perhaps even discouraged in some instances. To keep things as they are is a way for some people to keep their jobs and even power. Doing so however impedes progress of the people and the world at large. Innovations are always being done somewhere in the world to improve our lives and that should not be feared. It should instead be embraced. New ways of doing things or norms will emerge due to the innovation or some would say disruption. That in fact is the hallmark of being human. That we are built to adapt and that we can do so very effectively. So be bold and always ask the question – “is there a better way to do this?”
The mind is very powerful. Whatever you feed it with, it will absorbed without hesitation. We are all confined by the limited time that we have in a day and our attention span. How we spend those precious hours and minutes will define how strong or weak our mind is. If you want to be successful, if you want to achieve your goals and dreams, then you need a very strong mind. Because I kid you not, you will be met with a ton of obstacles and hurdles which at that time would seem insurmountable but with a strong mind, the likelihood of you getting past that would be much higher than if you did not have that. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind at an incredibly strong, unshaken and unwavering level. If you need to leave your favourite addictions behind in order to get there, do it. If you need to do the things that you dread like exercising or paying more money than you can afford at your present situation in order to alleviate your mind, do it. Whatever it takes. Feed it with the best knowledge. Go and read excessively. If the thought of sitting and staring at words does not work well with you, get some audiobooks or podcasts and listen to them on the go. Stay away from the things that is detrimental to the growth of your mind. This work is a daily affair. Be committed to it and you will soon start to see the results of your efforts.
Your life is yours to live. Always remember that. Do not let anyone else tell you that you cannot do or be this or that. Sure, they can advise and suggest/recommend to you but no one should be given the right to dictate how you live your truth. However, be mindful not to let arrogance get in the way, it is when you dismiss all of the suggestions and advice thinking that you know better. The reality is that sometimes you just do not know. So listen hard but make your own decisions. After all is said and done, you will be living with the decision that you have made. Do not let society or external factors hinder you from stepping into your truth. Life is too short to worry yourself about that.
If you feel like doing something awesome that will have a great impact on yourself, people around you or even the world, go ahead and do it. Do not wait around for permission from other people. Firstly, you do not have to. Secondly, they might not see or understand what your vision is so they might just put doubt in your head about it. People who have done great things simply just do it. At first, they might face a lot of obstacles and challenges, perhaps from even their closest ones however, if they keep the faith and persevere, the sky is the limit. So stop waiting around for someone to tell you that you may now go work on your dream, you just do it.