The Power of Not Caring (2015)
Chapter 1: Who Are You Living For?
Shake it off all you want, but it seems too difficult to simply stop caring about what other people think of us. We are social beings and it is only natural to consider other people in our lives, but when does it become too much?
Admit it or not, you care about what others think of you. People who declare they don't are more than likely just being pretentious. You cannot stop caring; it is in your nature. Yet it is absolutely wrong to live your life for others, to make your decisions based on other people's perceptions and expectations.
Are you caught in your parent's expectations?
John fell in love with art when he was old enough to scribble, but he belongs to a family of lawyers. Since the day he was born, his destiny has already been decided. He will be a lawyer like his brothers, his sister, his father, his grandfather, his uncles and the rest of his family. Although he wanted to study art and make art, he kept it to himself and decided to follow his parent's expectations of him.
It is quite typical for parents to want the best for their children. This is why they always try to influence their children's decisions in a genuine effort to keep them on the right track. It can be smothering, but they only want what is best for their kids. The question is: Are you one of those kids?
What role do your parents have to play in your choice of college? Are you pursuing good education based on their standards? Is it your dream you are chasing after, or is it theirs? While you may not want to disappoint your parents, you do have to stand up for yourself at some point. At the end of the day, you will be living your own life, but are you willing to live it on their terms? Can you bear the thought of letting go of your dreams to pursue what they dream that you will become someday? Pleasing your parents is one thing, but living only to please them is wrong.
Are you making choices because of peer pressure?
Paul always hangs out with his buddies and he enjoys their company quite a lot, but as they grow older his friend's interests start to change. Paul is interested in girls too, but he is simply not quite there yet. He does not feel ready to be with a girl and there is no one in particular that interests him in their school. All of Paul's friends have a girl of their own now. He is the only one left in the group without one. Afraid that he will be labeled a loser, he randomly picks a girl to call his girlfriend.
Fitting in with a group of friends can feel absolutely wonderful. The sense of belonging can put more meaning in your life. It simply makes things more fun when you share it with other people outside your family. But there are times too, when you may be forced to do something just because you are afraid of falling out of the loop.
Young boys and girls especially chase after the opposite sex. When all their friends are with a significant other, they also feel the need to be with someone. They want to be able to relate to their friends. Ultimately, they want to be accepted. In this sense, having a boyfriend or girlfriend can seem like a competition. Just because your friends are in a relationship, you also feel the need to find or be in one, and this is not only true for young adults. It haunts even people of age, especially single individuals surrounded by friends who are in coupledom.
Who are you dressing up for?
Lizzie is in high school and she is quite lucky to hang out with the popular kids. All her friends wear the latest fashion trends, they shop every weekend and they only buy clothes from expensive boutiques. Although she may feel it is ridiculous to spend that much money on a dress, she does anyway. She simply wants to fit in, and she pays the price for popularity.
Fashion is an interesting subject matter. But when you put on clothes, whose style are you really wearing? Are you trying to express yourself or are you simply trying to make an impression? People should always make an effort to look presentable, but there is something wrong when you copy someone else's style and don’t follow your own. When you shop, do you really want to go after designer and rather expensive clothing? Are you looking at the style rather than the price tag? When you wear your clothes, are you doing it to show off?
Are you a class clown?
Rob's parents are divorced. His dad, whom he is staying with, does not have a job and has a drinking problem. He does not want his friends from school to find out how pathetic his life is, so he tries to project a different image, far from the real one.
A positive disposition in life is encouraged, but people also say that the saddest people are the clowns. They always have a smile on their face but in reality, they only put on that smile in an effort to please others, to make other people happy and hide their own sadness.
Do you want to get fit for the sake of health or for some other reason?
Mary is not exactly obese but she is on the heavy side compared to her girlfriends who are just skin and bones. She feels she looks fat. She does not like her curves so she decides to save up enough money to undergo liposuction during the summer.
The call for health has become louder and louder. It seems that people are now much more conscious about their body. But when you diet, when you go to the gym or buy expensive products, or go through expensive treatments, are you doing it for yourself or are you simply worried about your body image?
Why do you want to lose weight? Is it because you are afraid of being called fat? Is it because all your friends are skinny? What's stopping you from leaving an abusive relationship? Why can you not quit your job? Why is it too difficult to move out of your comfort zone?
A Sense of Belonging Makes Us Feel Comfortable.
Somehow, being in a group, being accepted by family, relatives, friends, colleagues and even strangers is what most people live for even without realizing it. It feels much more comfortable not to go through rejection. But only aiming to be accepted cannot make you feel truly happy. It can only help you avoid fear and rejection.