Who’s expectations do you try to live up to? Your own.. Or, others’?
Are you familiar with the famous Aesop’s fable featuring the grasshopper and the ant? The ant had expectations of hard times ahead, and so planned for this demise, working hard to gather a robust harvest. When winter arrived, he was cared for and had plenty of food. Meanwhile the grasshopper wanted nothing but to enjoy life’s playfulness and pranced around all summer without ever thinking of the future. He was left with nothing to eat when winter came. I get the concept and moral: Life demands that we prioritize survival over playing.
But… What if the ant and the grasshopper had fun and worked hard? Because as it stands, that ant seems like kind of a boring guy to me and clearly the grasshopper doesn’t have a chance at survival. I think it would be fair to acknowledge that a compromise between the two extreme behaviors could really create a more well-balanced lifestyle for both creatures.
This fable, along with many other stories told throughout our lives, creates expectations for the way people should live. I love that life is full of wonderful guidance like this, making it easier to decide what to do in unfamiliar circumstances. We read other people’s stories, watch events on television and in movies, and observe public gatherings around us in order to gain information about how to do things, without having to personally experience them ourselves.
What concerns me is when people forget the guidance part, assuming expectations are a requirement. I personally am not interested in all work and no play. Being practical instead of daring isn’t inspiring or motivating, in my opinion. I feel that many people sacrifice their own wants and desires in order to live up to society’s expectations.
We could analyze culture and discuss ways that “it” should change to make life better. Focusing energy on making external changes like that, rarely gains ground or results in major changes. The best way, in my experience, to shift the paradigm of the masses, is to make a big change first from within. Always start with you (or in my case, me), when something isn’t working the way you prefer.
So, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I shy to express myself honestly and genuinely? Why?
- What’s not to like about my unique qualities? I am flipping fantastic!
- Can I imagine that I might actually inspire others by just being myself?
You don’t have to be locked into a boring lifestyle that you don’t enjoy. Explore the things you want to try that you’ve hidden from others, for fear of being judged or misunderstood. You deserve to live a life fully catered to you. Life can be fun. You may actually discover a job perfect for you that is both practical and enjoyable – but only if you seek it! Discoveries come from expanding beyond current paradigms and comfort zones.
Challenge yourself to engage in new activities outside of your normal day to day actions. Ask friends and family members to join you for support and encouragement. Not sure what your dream lifestyle entails? Define it by reading Live Life For A Living. Enhance your creativity and self-awareness with Quiet The Mind and Mandala Meditation interactive workbooks.