We humans evolved to be social creatures. Perhaps it is because we fared better in groups, and hence, evolutionary pressures selected for functional social skills. A key part to belonging in a group is that we compromise part of ourselves to ensure harmony. There are two sides to this: A) being part of a group ensures we do not act on harmful pleasure-driven desires that will compromise the wellbeing of ourselves and the group and B) we are socialized to self-censor so as to appease others. Sometimes, this is to the detriment of our authenticity and integrity. One thing is for sure: we must find a balance between being a good community member and being our authentic self.

One of the biggest struggles of growing up is figuring out who or what we want to be. The influence of people around us shape our perception of ourselves as well as the world. First, it is our parents who fulfill this role, and in the later years, our friends/peers take over. As we get older, our parents seem less cool, less ideal, and less aspirational. We seek validation and acceptance from our peers instead who, for the most part, are also lost themselves.

When we seek validation from others, we compromise ourselves. The only validation we need is from the favorable outcome of our choices. I will not pander to you and tell you that you only need your own approval for your life choices and views in life. This ill-informed advice fails to hold when these choices/views turn out to be harmful to ourselves/others. Instead, practice analyzing your choices/views in terms of outcome. Is this good for me? Am I hurting others?

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Practicing self analysis is important when you start making your own decisions in life. If you want the best and most in life, you’ll have to do things most other people are not doing. Your choices in career, life partner, business ventures, etc., will not always be well-received. You’ll meet resistance from others. They will have different reasons to hold you back: either from concern or envy. Either way, other people’s disappointment is not yours to deal with and are of less importance than your efforts to produce a good outcome for yourself. 

It can be particularly tough when we receive disappointment from those close to us. Let this be an exercise of your resilience and love for yourself. It is important that you do not push forward with the goal of proving others wrong. Everybody else is irrelevant. What matters is your favorable outcome. Thank your detractors for the feedback. Weigh them heavily against your decisions, gather data, find opposing counsel, and ultimately, pick the most advantageous option. When you make your decision, stay the course for as long as you can. Shut yourself from the noise. Make yourself proud. 

May we find pride in the outcome of our choices. 

This we manifest.


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