We often don’t realise how so much our lives have become dictated by the external factors around us and the conditions that are sheer happenstance. What year we are born. Where we grew up. Who we are friends with. What our parent’s jobs are.
Usually, we are simply unaware that these data points in our life drive our decisions and impact our choices.
We therefore live our life in accordance with these. And, as a result, copy those around us based on those circumstances. The default path appears comfortable and safe. It is known and there is some sense of certainty which appears comforting and affirms our decisions. Everyone around us is going in the same direction, so we feel validated that we are fundamentally doing the right thing.
But maybe the default path isn’t for you. You are unique, and have your own intrinsic motivations that cannot be replicated and repeated. Your life is individual to you and isn’t doesn’t have to duplicate everyone and everything around you.
Maybe you don’t have to go to university at 18, get a job at 21, buy a house at 25, get married at 30, have kids at 35, and retire at 65.
Your life can follow your own path. You can go on your own journey, that works for you.
How to live your own life
It starts with self-awareness. When you start to understand yourself through a process of introspection you can start to make decisions based off your interests; based off your genuine ambitions. This takes time, and you need to create the space required to understand yourself better.
Also, through reading brilliant boooks, listening to podcasts, and exploring alternative possibilities, you can start to become more aware of the thousands of options outside of your box. Outside of what you thought was possible; outside your original life circumstances.
Seek opportunities that push you outside of your comfort zone. That challenge your thoughts, views, and interests. That push you to try something new. This will result in you working out what’s truly important.
Don’t let yourself be gradually influenced over time to make certain decisions, without realising you’re following society’s written path for you. Everyone is different, maybe your path to happiness is too.
To learn more about positive ideas that will change your life, check out Mental Wealth.
Matthew Swain is the founder of Mental Wealth.