Today’s discussion is about the formal expectations of what you ought to be doing at each stage in your life. This is so close to my heart as I used to be all for formal expectations. It was a huge deal for me to meet the formal expectations that society dictated. In fact, I took it a step further by going into specific details what each stage entailed, and what age I had to achieve these expectations. So you can imagine my (self-inflicted) heartbreak when things did not go according to plan. The word ‘devastated’ doesn’t even begin to sum up how I felt. It took me a long time to get over that disappointment, and in some ways, I think I’m still getting over it! It’s funny because I feel like I conformed to the formal expectations in the areas of my life where I didn’t have 100% control of the final outcome. Who am I kidding? There are rare situations in life where you have complete control of the final outcome.
If you’ve ever experienced this, I would like to remind you that you are not alone. I feel like the formalities have been ingrained in me for so long that I sometimes struggle to break away from the pattern. I want you to be honest with yourself. Do the formalities that you currently adhere to benefit you? Or are they hindering your growth and clipping your wings? If you’ve answered yes to the latter, when would now be the time to skip the formalities and travel down a new path. This is your opportunity to blaze your own trail and create your own formalities. In order to create your own formalities, you need to have an idea of the kind of life you want to live, and the goals you want to achieve.
As for me, I’ve chosen to completely skip any form of formalities (see what I did there?!). Instead, I’m holding on to the goals I want to achieve, making an effort to enjoy whatever road life takes me on. After all, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “life is about the journey, not the destination”. I have chosen to be more purposeful in my actions and live in the moment. One thing I have noticed is that my perspective plays a huge role in how I react to my current reality. It’s so easy to focus on the negative aspects of your current reality. By being purposeful in seeking the silver lining in every situation I find myself in, I find it easier to be grateful for where I currently am in life. This opens up the opportunity to be grateful for other things.
Perspective /pəˈspɛktɪv/ a particular attitude towards or a way of regarding something
I urge you to create your own formalities and work on your perspective concurrently. Some of the benefits that stem from this practice include:
- Building your character.
- Becoming content with your portion. Instead of chasing greener pastures somewhere else, you become content with your grass patch and put in the effort to nourish it consistently.
- Discipline yourself to look for the silver lining even when you are not feeling it
- Chase your dreams! When you let go of formalities, you have the freedom to chase whatever dreams you have