Community//

How do we become the product of other’s thoughts?

Apprehending the impact of other's opinions in our lives

Have you ever asked a child what they want to be when they grow up? You would probably get either a doctor or an engineer, as an answer. Let me correct myself. In fact, not probably, you will definitely hear this from them. No matter how good people are at their jobs, they would still hesitate to introduce themselves as drivers, shopkeepers or clerks. Why? Because it is a universal perception that these are not respectable professions.

Let’s take another example – Have you ever seen someone praising a person who is dark, fat and has a short height? Come on! How can we? Because due to common superficial standards, only the fair, slim and tall deserve appreciation. Again, that’s another universal impression!

If you take a panoramic view of the world, you will find that everyone is running in a marathon and this marathon is all about getting a license of, “MEETS EXPECTATIONS”, from the people around them because approval from others gives a feeling of higher self-worth.

Our society has predetermined set of rules. These rules award the license of, “Success or failure” and “Winner or loser”. So, what do we miss in this marathon?

Yes! Our dreams and desires.

And primarily we have forgotten to set rules for the most important thing in this world that is “Happiness”. So, why are we doing it?

Simple, our opinions are stronger and more resistant to persuasion when they are backed by the opinions of the people around us. We are more focused towards the idea of “How do people want to see us?”, rather than focusing on “What we want to be?” We don’t want to disappoint the people around us. Our “need to be loved” make us do such things. This is the reason to justify, “we are not what we want to become, but we are the product of other people’s thoughts about us’.

Now the point is, how to mend our ways? Let’s discuss!

Put on your blinders, stop comparing!

Same age? Same degree? How can he be more successful and earn better than me? This functionality for comparing ourselves with others is not built-in, but it has been planted. Thanks to our parents and our society.

It’s important to realize that there is a very thin line between admiration and comparison. A comparison has only two outcomes; either you walk away feeling inferior or superior to the person. There is no other way. Admiring someone challenges and inspires a person while lifting that person up at the same time. If you actually want to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself with your own previous version. Be your own best version!

Not everyone is on the same boat

Everyone is leading their lives according to their own skill set, circumstances, strengths, and weaknesses. You might have started the journey together, but you will find some people ahead of you and some behind you. Don’t feel superior from those behind you, and don’t feel inferior from those ahead of you. No one is too late nor too early, everyone is working according to their time zone. Everyone is on their own voyage. Everyone is on a different boat.

Stop running in the marathon

People lose their edge in trying to conform to the society. Stop rowing in the same direction just because everyone is doing it. If someone has experienced success in a particular direction, it is not necessary that you will get it as well. Maybe they were best suited for a role that you can’t fit in. Instead of trying to fit-in for obliging to others whims and fancies, it is better to stand-out gloriously for the sake of your wishes. Make your own pathways. Chart your own destiny.

Your people, your parachute

Be open to the ideas of those friends and family members who genuinely care about you. Because these are the people who have been with you through thick and thin and they know you and your journey of life.

Surround yourself with people who are motivated, passionate and open-minded. Such people can help you fly higher every day.

There will always be people who will resist, threaten, demotivate and sabotage the possibility of self-improvement. If you have such people who make you feel inferior, weak or uncomfortable, without further ado LEAVE THEM.

Live your dreams

Don’t let your dreams convert into the monsters of nightmares. Don’t let your desires be the unlived possibilities. Don’t sell your own wishes to buy other’s happiness. Don’t get under the delusion that your bank balance and popularity depict your success. Remember that the only measure to gauge your success is your “Happiness”. If you are happy with whatever you are doing, you are successful.

Final thoughts

Marcus Aurelius once said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

The first thing you should do is take other peoples opinion with a pinch of salt. People talk and they always will. Just like the herd of lions swooping in for the kill, they prey on the weak, looking for those they can taunt and torment. Do what your heart says is JUST. Be what YOU actually want to be! Take the high road. Ignore the naysayers. Listen to the ideas/opinions of others, but don’t let their opinions DEFINE YOU. It’s up to you to hold the steering of your life’s driving seat or be the product of other’s opinion about you.

The choice is totally yours! 

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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