Do you feel queasy when you consider what is expected of you next week?
Do you feel that you will only live a happy life if you meet the expectations of all people around you?
Let me tell you my friend’s story. It may make you perceive your next week differently…
My friend is a manager in a large company. He collapsed during the week. The diagnosis: bleeding in the brain. The cause: he probably “could not bear the pressure of his post”.
Do you know something about diamond? It is essentially carbon pressed from many sides. It seemed that my friend would also be a diamond admired by many. He was pressured by the owner to put pressure on the employees. He was pressured by the employees to help them negotiate conditions for achieving better results. He was pressured by the family to stop working so hard and start relaxing sometimes. He was pressured by himself because he realised that he was failing in all aspects.
“I am not happy”, he confided in me, although many people envied his post, salary and large office. Yes, he was all set to become a diamond. However, besides being the hardest mineral, diamond is also very fragile. Does this sound like a paradox? Diamond is interwoven with capillaries called cleavage lines. You only need to tap these with a hammer and the precious stone will shatter to dust.
This is what happened to my friend.
Can we live the way we want at all?
He is my childhood friend. He always wanted to live his own way. However, he had to listen to his parents back then. His teachers, too. They told him that he could not think for himself until he was eighteen.
When he officially became an adult, he could not live the way he wanted again. His parents wanted him to go to a particular university, and at work, people explained to him: “You have to get really high so that you can do what you want and so that you don’t have to obey anyone at work!” To climb the ladder, he had to obey those above him.
From early childhood, he rose with the question: “What is expected of me today?” It was important to him to please others. He hoped that by achieving that he would finally be happy. But he was never happy. His satisfaction depended on the moods of other people and his success depended on the fates, evaluation and appreciation of other people.
When I thought about How to maintain positive thinking even in the hardest of times, I was thinking precisely of this friend of mine: how to manage this in our minds when we are taught to obey others from early childhood? What should we realise?
Let me give you my 9 arguments to consider:
1. We are under no obligation to live according to others
First of all, let’s settle the legislative aspect. I have clarified this with a lawyer – I do not have any contract with my life that guarantees that my life will deliver what I expect. My life treats me accordingly. And none of us have a contract of this kind with any other person.
We can do what is important to us, what we consider to be right. Let’s not do anything simply because someone else expects us to do it.
Initially, I didn’t like the fact that my life does not want to sign a contract of this kind with me: that not everything goes the way we plan it. However, I realised later that this is good. The unexpected is often better than what we expect, the same way as unplanned celebrations tend to be unforgettable more often than the planned ones.
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