WHAT YOU REALLY WANT - HOW IS COPYING OTHERS MAKING US SUFFER
Updated: May 16
With the new year just around the corner and the current one sprinting into its finish line, we are keen to review our targets towards fulfilling our future dreams. We have hopes and expectations of the upcoming year, and of life in general. Not much different from everyone else actually. In line with 'New year, new me' we set our bars UP, hoping to finally swing ourselves high enough
to achieve all the new, exciting things...
What excites us is very much depending on our maturity. Cushioned by our (often painfully pricey) past experiences the tendency in setting our goals is that the wiser we get, the less we attach our fulfilment to common illusions.
'What are they? And is that why some of us suffer the dreaded midlife crisis?' you may ask.
It is safe to say that midlife crisis is a necessary wake up call for many (me included) who attached the responsibility for their fulfilment to commonly chased achievements.
Realising we are half way through life, unsatisfied with our past choices, we feel rather pessimistic about the future and cynical about life overall. Typically, our future outlook is contrastingly different to the one we held at the start.
At the age of 18 we feel like a lottery winner. Because 'now we can do what the hell we like' in the paradise called the world. Bursting with enthusiasm for life, nothing can hold us back apart from one thing: the obligation to fulfill our to-do list in this lifetime. 'How exciting!'
So we get ticking because our biological clocks are too.
Get a job
Buy a car
Find a partner
Break up with them
Find a new partner
Buy a house
Have a first child
Have a second child
Own your business
Find a new partner
Have a third child... You get the hint.
Our lists are additionally filled with promotions, exotic holidays, birthday parties, or anything which is ment to be THE next best thing for us. But as we tick the widely celebrated items on our list, our happiness (to our surprise!) declines.
We hoped to feel fulfilled by achieving because we desired to feel good about ourselves. But instead our frustration is rising with the number of grey hair (that is if we are lucky and still have some left). With the decreasing number of goals commonly known to make us feel wonderful, we are increasingly unenthusiastic about our future. Getting hitched and having children our responsiblities (and stakes) got even higher, in line with our bills to keep everyone happy. Getting promoted means working longer, stressful hours so that we can afford the mortgage, family car, and school fees for our children (whom we don't see all that often). We work ourselves swiftly into our forties, separate from our partners and the material gains we've worked so hard for thinking 'Why was I such a fool!?' The cynicism of 'What is there to look forward to?' is just a reflection of how much we resent life, love, and ourselves.
How can you turn this crisis away? Or better. How can you not get to that point? (Take it from someone who had been there. If you are interested in my personal detour to happiness, please have a read.)
Firstly, examine your current perception of what will really make you happy, rather than blindly following the mass hysteria. This is called gaining awareness and it is an inner form of learning and gathering insight into your Self, which is so important.
Do you find it easier to say 'no' to you, uncomfortable to disappoint others? By now you may have become an expert on knowing what others want, having done major disservice to yourself in the process. To unlearn your destructive habits, examine your beliefs that drive them. Don't tie the love for yourself to your external achievements, and your love for others to their acceptance of you! If you do that, you effectively allow others to raise the validation bar unpredictably, having hell of a job to reach it. Your happiness isn't about the chase for a trophy of some sort, nor is it about ticking along with the clock and not stopping. Stopping and asking if what you are doing is what YOU really like...
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2018 Michaela Patel