I love quotes and have a collection of those that resonate with me. One of my favourites is, ‘Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.’ (Steve Jobs)
I feel this quote has much sound advice in it. Firstly, yes, time is limited for everyone. No one knows how much time they have.
Don’t waste time living someone else’s life Personal values are important and if our actions are not in line with these values we are not being true to ourselves. When making a decision we need to ask ourselves if it reflects our personal values, not the values of others.
Some people feel pressured to follow a career path expected of them by family members. Others may follow peers into a particular field of work. A career advisor may recommend a career. However, this may not be where the individual’s passion lies.
An individual’s choice of career may not appear as secure as alternative employment options. The pay and promotion opportunities may not be as good. However, the job satisfaction may be greater.
How we handle relationships can also be influenced by other people or perhaps by society as a whole. It could be we don’t pursue a particular relationship because others disapprove. On the other hand the expectations of others may lead us to continue with a relationship even though it doesn’t feel ‘right’. Perhaps an individual is afraid of being ‘single’ or the judgements they think will come if they are single.
Sometimes a relationship others might call a ‘mistake’ has some positive aspects. If nothing else it could provide an opportunity for growth. (Sorry if that is a bit of a cliché but I feel it is true.)
Another major life decision is whether to have children or not, how many and how to bring them up. Okay, so there are actually several decisions involved here. It seems everyone has an opinion on the topic of ‘children’.
Don’t let others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice If you are a people pleaser it may seem safer to adopt the opinions of others. You may find yourself thinking you are wrong if others express opinions which are different from yours.
You do have a right to your own opinions as long as you allow others to express theirs. If you lack confidence you may doubt your personal opinions and be afraid to express your ideas. You may be unsure of making decisions for yourself. A confidence building or assertiveness course (or both) could be useful. Choosing friends who are positive and supportive will also help.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition It does take courage to do what seems right for you when others have opposing ideas. You may fear the job, relationship, approach to parenting or whatever will not work out as you expected and hoped. What if you are wrong? Well then you need to see what can be learnt from the situation and just be glad you did what you felt was right for you at the time.
It is also quite possible things will work out even better than you envisaged. You will never know if you don’t try. Your time is limited…