Who are you living your life for? Are you creating a purposeful and thoughtful life, or more often than not stumbling through your life, reacting to people and situations?
The best way I know how to live my life is to live it for me. To be thoughtful and intentional in my choices, and loving and grateful in my attitude.
I tried for years to do all the right things all the time, yet I never stopped to ask what the right thing really was. I was usually doing what was right for someone else, not what was right for me. I was so busy trying to please everyone, I was pleasing almost no one. Do I really need to tell you I was pretty miserable at this point in my life?
I decided to start disappointing the right people. Let me explain; I can’t control what anyone thinks of me, really. Spending my energy trying to be something for someone else and living up to other people’s expectations is the kind of behavior that leads to feelings of resentment, frustration, and unhappiness. That’s not what I want- I want to be happy!
As I practiced putting myself first and living a life that is meaningful to me, I found the more I minded my own opinion of myself, the more others valued my opinion. The more I respected myself, the more others respected me.
Disappointing the right people doesn’t mean that I have a free pass to act like a jerk, ignore commitments, or otherwise treat others unkind. What it does mean is that I am honest about what I can and can’t do, I say no when I need to, and I do my best at whatever I do.
Accepting that sometimes I will have to disappoint the right people takes practice, and some days I need a refresher. Today just happens to be one of those days!
Disappointing the “right” people
The only person I can truly make happy is me, so I put myself first on the list. My immediate family comes second. In my life, everyone outside of myself and my immediate family falls into the “right people to disappoint” category. My friends, my acquaintances, my co-workers, and even my boss!
Doing my part
Putting myself first means taking responsibility for myself- for my health, my attitude, my thoughts, my feelings, and my behavior. I must do my part to be the best me I can be. When I’m not doing my part, I’m disappointing myself.
In my personal life I take care of my health by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, scheduling me time, enjoying time with family and friends, and caring for my mental, emotional, physical, and financial well-being.
At work I do my part by doing my job to the best of my ability, asking for help when I need it, challenging myself to learn grow professionally, respectfully communicating with co-workers, and having a positive attitude.
To be happy I must live in harmony with those around me. I will try to the best of my ability to be open and approachable, and be willing to work on problems to improve the situation for everyone. I don’t have to concede to others opinions, but I will at least consider them.
Though I regularly give my best effort to whatever I do, sometimes other people don’t appreciate what I do. When my efforts are not appreciated, hopefully that person has some productive feedback to share. Whenever possible I will do my best to accommodate others, and work together to achieve shared goals.
Disappointing the right people often means I am setting boundaries. Boundaries allow me to be considerate and kind to myself and others. I do this by being honest about what I am willing to do, as well as what I am unwilling to do. I show respect for myself and others by telling them what I am willing to do.
Setting a boundary can be as simple as agreeing to show up or leave by a certain time, setting a deadline, taking on a specific task, or saying no when I am honestly unwilling or unable to agree to a request.
Sometimes life brings unexpected change. As I work on living a great life, I must be adaptable to change and reassess my position as needed.
If I find myself over-committed, or unable to follow through due a change in my situation, I can quit. I can cancel plans, or come up with a different solution. Adjusting to change doesn’t mean I’m irresponsible- I’m being honest about what I can and can’t do.
It’s okay to make mistakes! Making mistakes is how we learn and grow. Making mistakes can lead to great revelations. We’re all human and we all make mistakes.
Sometimes making a mistake is the very thing that disappoints another person. Though I do my best every day, I hope that when I make a mistake the right people will be understanding.
When I am taking good care of myself and living a purposeful life, I can share my happiness and health with others. Disappointing the right people means sharing my life and my gifts with others when I have first taken care of me.
Image courtesy of shawnchin