FOCUS ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY
I re-read The Alchemist in January and this quote stuck with me:
"If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should live their lives, but none about his or her own."
I looked at this from two angles. The first one being do I act this way when others don't act how I want them too? When my children or husband or co-workers have a different idea or reaction or if they don't agree with me, do I become angry or frustrated? Do I make it about me or try to force my opinions onto them? Yes, sometimes. I can't control them, but I can love who they are and respect their journey without imposing my journey and interests onto them. A perfect example of this is the parent who forces their child to play basketball or take clarinet lessons because that was their dream.
The second angle is how people react to me. I am seen as a carefree, easy-going, friendly person (and I usually am!). Usually, this hasn't been a problem at work or at home; I'm stern when I need to be and usually let things go when they don't need to be a big deal (but, I'm definitely not perfect in this!). There have been a few times though that I've unintentionally hurt some friendships by being unaware of their wants or by acting in a way that was different than what they wanted, needed, or expected - and I remember being shocked over the outcome. One time, I can't even remember the details and the other time, I think I didn't fulfill a duty that I didn't even know was expected of me. In both cases, the other person had expectations of what I should have done or how I should have reacted. And in both cases, I was totally unaware of what had happened or that the person was even mad at me until some remarks or actions started to take place.
Do you ever have that happen? Someone is mad at you and you have no idea why? It's usually because of some unccoveyed expectation or need that the other person has and they are expecting or projecting on you. And to turn that around, have you ever gotten upset or silently fumed at someone because they didn't "do" something that you wanted them to do?
The takeaway is is that we are all on our own journey. We can't expect other people to always be who we want them to be or act like we would in a situation. They are on their own path. Focus on yourself and your goals and dreams without being influenced by the desires of others.
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