Life Lesson 2: Your Happiness is YOUR Happiness

Yesterday: You can't change people.
Your definition of happiness is different from other people’s. What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for them so stop being a Judge Judy about your friends’ life decisions.

Let me tell you why getting this will make your life a WHOLE LOT EASIER: if you quit worrying about all the stuff other people are doing that you wouldn't do, you'd free up a lot of your time to do more of the stuff you like to do. You know what else? You'll have stronger friendships. I can think of 2 or 3 people right now that I already know I can't tell certain stuff to them because they get judgy and they can't EVER just think "well, I wouldn't do that, but if you like it, I love it." Supporting someone's decision is NOT tantamount to agreeing with it.

Of course this goes back to what we discussed yesterday. Oftentimes this issue rears it's head most noticeably when we're talking about people we love making decisions we think are bad. But guess what? Bad for me is not always bad for you. Two individuals will always have different life experiences that influence them differently and cause them to prioritize things in different ways. There's nothing wrong with that.

Trying to play judge on your friend's choices is stupid. Not only is it annoying, but it can be potentially alienating. As long as some folks have known me, it still surprises people the way I choose to do certain things, or THAT I choose to do certain things. I still have family members baffled as to why I didn't go to law school, friends who don't get why I left DC to move back to Nashville, professional acquaintances who think I'd be putting my skills to better use in a different setting...

I don't actually have to explain myself to anyone -- not right now anyway -- and so it also follows that no one needs to understand or agree with my choices so long as those choices aren't illegal or otherwise harmful. Same goes for you, dear reader and friend. You do not have to understand or agree with anyone's choices, so long as they are not illegal or otherwise harmful. It's not your place, it's not your job, it's just not necessary. What motivates you may not be what motivates another person and that is a-ok.

What's also a-ok is asking someone why they're doing what they're doing. If they're interested in sharing, you might learn something. You might find some perspective you need. Then again, so may they. There's a place for genuine interest in why people do what they do, but that genuine interest is always going to be sans judgement.

Put another way, if you give up trying to "get" everything, in the sense that you understand AND agree, it'll change your life. You don't ever have to both understand and agree with anything for it to be right. Life is not a zero sum game, stuff is most often gray -- there aren't as many black and white decisions as we'd like to think there are. Understand and agree with THAT and find yourself in a better place.

Tomorrow's Life Lesson: Be Your Best Cheerleader

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now open to everyone! Leave a comment -- let me know what you think.