In a society that over glorifies goals and life purposes, sometimes we forget that at the end of it all, what we are seeking is happiness. Our end goal is to enjoy life.
Even in my articles, I often emphasize the importance of having a purpose and goals. And I'm not saying that's not important; instead, I want to share another angle of seeking happiness.
In my previous article, I've written why we shouldn't compare ourselves to other people. The main reason is that it will not be an apple to apple comparison when you compare yourself. Your privilege, experiences, and effort can't be compared objectively.
When someone says something is "hard," do they tell you how much effort they put in? Do you know how serious they were when they were trying to do it? "Hard" for them may not be hard for you because the effort is subjective, and the same goes with experiences and privileges.
I was happy with my job. I got a well-paying job with a salary that I am satisfied with. This is the life I have dreamed of for a while, and now it's not my imagination anymore.
Then, I talked to my friend about our salaries, and I found out that he earns more than me. The feeling of content I felt just a second ago is now gone. I am no longer happy with my job and salary. I started to compare myself.
Now, imagine if my friend has a lower salary than mine. Of course, I would feel the opposite. It would amplify the joy I have. But what about him? He would feel the distress I felt.
When you compare yourself with other people, there are only 2 outcomes: either you feel better or worse. It's always a gamble, and the one at stake is your joy.
We are constantly being judged by other people, no matter what we do. So why do we care? There will always be someone who either loves or hates what we do anyways.
When you decided to do something, make sure it is something that you really want to do. Don't do it because someone told you to. Don't do it to fulfil other people's expectations. Do it for your own happiness.
I say do it for your own happiness, but I do not suggest that you shouldn't listen to other people. Instead, keep your ears open. Listen to their feedback, experiences, and opinions. Put them into account when you are trying to make a decision.
By listening, you can learn from the experience of other people. For example, let's say your friend told you to follow his way of learning math. But you know that he's not that good at math. So you decided to find another way to learn math.
That is one benefit of listening to other people, so you learn from their experience and not step on the same hole.
When we have a goal, we tend to think that we'll be happy after achieving that goal. But what we often forget is that goals and achievements will always come around. There will be other goals after goals, it's a cycle that will never end. In that sense, you'll only be happy for a brief moment until you start to work on your next goal.
Goals are there to help you grow, but the result of your effort shouldn't dictate your happiness. Because even if you fail, you've learned something and made some progress. And failure is a part of the process.
Instead of achieving your goals and being happy, I want you to enjoy what you are doing and be happy.
In a society that over glorifies goals and life purposes, sometimes all you need is just to care about yourself. Don't compare yourself with other people, and don't live for them.
You don't need goals, milestones, and achievements. It's okay to stay where you are. As long as you're happy with it, you don't need a north star. Just do things that you enjoy.
Your happiness is your call.
Because it's your life, after all.