Decisions are always so much easier to make when they don’t affect you directly. I had to make a difficult choice recently and after a lot of careful thought I went with what my heart said – something I think I knew from the beginning. Different people gave different advice – some vehemently, some gently. But if there’s one thing I have learnt in life, it is this – always listen to others but eventually do what you feel is right.
Nobody and I mean nobody, not your closest friend or your family, can take your place in life. What this means is that they can never completely feel your happiness, your pain, your confusion, your angst as much as you do. They cannot live for you. They will always be one step removed from the real thing – you. The sooner one realizes this, the easier it becomes to stop relying on others. However much you take opinions about how to run the race, eventually you will be the one running it. That is not to say that the advice doesn’t help or guidance or sympathy or some kind of empathy doesn’t help. Of course it helps. It goes some way in fine-tuning the ideas that are already present in your head. It gives you solace. It shows you a different way of looking at things sometimes.
But the thing to remember is – your life is yours only. You will have to fight your own battles. You should be solely responsible for whatever decisions you make. And there is comfort to be drawn from that. And courage in owning up to it.
Another thing I realized is how you have to figure out what works for you. In other words, one man’s meat may be another man’s poison. What sounds like a great opportunity to one person need not seem that way to another. It is all a question of priorities. And it is important to be sure of one’s priorities in life. There are so many things we compromise upon in life. Too often, it is too easy to get drawn into something that goes against what you once believed in. It is essential to be aware of the non-negotiables. To realize that no matter what, this is something you are not going to give up on. It is important to take a stance and stick to it because otherwise you will fall for anything and everything the world throws at you.
It is important to realize that you don’t need to, and more importantly, can’t, please everybody all the time. It is impossible. This is one of those realizations that are guaranteed to bring about a lot of satisfaction in the long run. It is hard to avoid the temptation to be a crowd-pleaser. And it is also not necessary that you have to rebel against everything. Just learn to live with the fact that everyone may not like you. And that’s cool because you don’t like everyone either.
So… a lot of the heavy stuff today but that’s another side to me.