Do you ever recall a parent or teacher saying, “Well if Johnny or Suzie jumped off a bridge, would you too?” I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet that we’ve all heard this a few times in our lifetime. It’s a great line challenging children to think differently and not follow the crowd, especially if the action or people are considered deviant. Why don’t we follow this same advice as adults? This week we’ll discuss why people just follow the norm and how they can avoid this trap.
Mediocrity is the new norm throughout society and it’s rarely challenged. Why? Because it’s easier to accept it and not challenge the status quo. Too many people simply follow in other’s footsteps and just accept their life for the way it is. One of my biggest pet peeves of all time is when I hear the phrase, “It’s always been done this way.” That’s a cop-out. Quit letting other people determine the quality of your life and how you live it. Just because the people you know and grew up with are doing a certain thing, or living a certain lifestyle, does not mean you have to do the same.
I believe this happens out of fear. We’re afraid of what might happen if we try something different, go down a different path, or what others may think of us. Quit living on their terms and start living on yours. Here are five suggestions on how to avoid living on other people’s terms.
- Don’t get overwhelmed–Begin with a goal in mind and understand that it will take time. You will fail, but that’s okay because each failure brings you that much closer to success. The problem is that too many choose to take on too much all at once. When this happens they become overwhelmed and say, “Screw it, I give up.” Trust and realize it’s all about the process.
- Have ambition–As I stated earlier don’t follow the crowd. Once you stop having a purpose or mission for your existence, your life’s basically over. Stay active. Learn new things. Set small achievable goals. As Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
- Look for possibilities–Too many people only see the problems, they don’t see the possibilities. Rather than seeing the obstacles ahead, look for the opportunities that exist. Don’t let other people set the expectations and limits you have for yourself. There are no limits. With each roadblock there lies an opportunity for personal growth that will lead to sustained success.
- It’s okay to want more–We’re conditioned to feel bad for wanting more, like we’re greedy. I don’t necessarily agree with that. It’s okay to want be more than what you are now, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Most people stop with safety and security in their careers and life. That’s fine, but don’t ever stop working to become your best self. Jobs and companies will come and go. Don’t put your life and ambition in other people’s hands.
- Follow your heart—Find meaning in what you do and who you are. Your heart will lead you down the right road. Discover what truly makes you happy and then do that every single day. If you do, you’ll become unstoppable. You will wake up every day with a mission, purpose, and passion! Don’t go for the quick fix and buck. Work for and go get something sustainable!
Don’t go through life wondering “what if”, it’s time to stop playing it safe and go after your dreams. Don’t worry about what others will think or potential problems. Believe and Achieve!
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week and be and RGP today!