Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Do It For You

I often see people say something akin to the following statement: “There is no greater pleasure in life than doing what people say you cannot do.”

With this statement, I could not possibly disagree more.

Similar comments constantly fuel Instagram inspirational posts, all containing that same defiant attitude. Basically they are saying "You said I couldn’t; now watch me while I do." I find this attitude, however, to be counterproductive to a happy mindset. There are few worse ways to live your life than by deriving pleasure accomplishing things simply because you want to prove people wrong.

Achieving whatever you think is success or fulfillment should not be either spurred on or validated by negative opinions. Perhaps the reason some feel this mindset has merit stems from the fact that studies show negative people are seen as being more intelligent. So, if you can prove those intelligent people wrong, they are not as smart as they think they are.  Or something like that.

Maybe there is a certain amount of comeuppance we like to give those who stand in our way. I mean, I understand why it can feel good to stick it to someone, but making it the crux of your enjoyment is a horrible idea. You see, there are many things in life which feel better than showing people they were wrong. Indeed, not caring at all what people say about your wants and dreams might just be the best feeling in the world.

Is it easy not to care about what people say? Of course not. No one who is a decent person likes to have people put down their desires. Even those in the public eye, who have to develop thicker skins, don’t like to hear negativity spewed from the anonymous reaches of the Internet. But focusing your mind on the task at hand and ignoring those who say nay is the best use of your time and energy. Then, when you do what was deemed impossible, celebrate with the ones who supported you rather than giving the jerks more attention. Why take away good vibes from people who like you so you can waste time on those who don’t?

Instead, know that virtually everything difficult achieved by anyone throughout history was seen as impossible or ludicrous by many. If you truly wish to accomplish something, and feel the best at having done it, the only way you can achieve that is by doing it for yourself. The satisfaction of completing what you hoped you could do is a delicious treat.

Savor it without the spiteful aftertaste of needing to prove others wrong.

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