If you are not Careful Enough, you might Mistake Others’ Approval for your Happiness.
Yesterday, as I was sitting on my patio sipping a hot cup of tea and reading a book, I felt content. I told myself, “at this moment, right here, I am genuinely happy.”
But as I sat down pondering, another thought came to my mind. What exactly had happened that day that had made me so happy?
After few minutes of introspection, it dawned on me. I wasn’t happy because I was content. I was delighted because I had gained approval and awe from others.
I had sent one of my articles to a few of my friends and family members, and they had loved it. Compliments poured through WhatsApp and filled my ego bowl.
For a person whose most conversations were taken with “Oh my god. Here she goes again talking about waste management” Or “Why can’t I freaking buy new clothes?”, this felt good. (That’s because I am a huge Sustainability proponent)
I don’t particularly appreciate buying unhealthy cakes or wasteful, non-biodegradable balloons on my birthday. I do not prefer plastic packaged items. I like to eat healthy meals over fried, unhealthy food, and I DO NOT like to shop.
I can understand why people would dislike my company. I do not have much to offer per societal interests. (Yeah! I am great at parties :D)
So when I was acknowledged for something I had written authentically, it felt good.
But it also slowly pushed me to my old ways.
My mind pondered- “Okay, they liked the article, what else can I write that “they” like.”
It reminded me of a time when my entire life was based on what everyone else wanted.
In the past 2.5 years of my “new” lifestyle, I have realized that people may kinda like you for obeying their every opinion, rules, whims, and fancies.
But if you genuinely want to be respected, you have to be your own person.
Whether people like us or not shouldn’t be criteria on how we lead our lives.
We must live based on our values and our best actions to better society and this beautiful planet. And sometimes, those actions will make us unlikable, and we have to be okay with it.
And there is freedom in not being chained by other’s approval.
You get to be genuinely yourself and truly happy for all the right reasons.
So next time someone praises you (or even tries to put you down), consciously introspect.
Don’t mistake someone’s approval for your happiness.