Adjusting to Living for One’s Self

Living for one’s self is a universal struggle. Every culture and group has its norms; that is to say, what’s considered to be normal. Sadly, these norms are often regarded as what it means to be happy, and that is rarely the case. The pursuit of normal and fitting-in becomes a never-ending race to keep up with the latest definition of normal. I see victims of this mindset in every walk of life. They are haunted and striving. This striving is not the simple striving of wanting to do well but, rather, the desire to do better than others. Happiness becomes measured by how many experiences and lifestyle boxes can be ticked on the “happiness list”. This can be taken to extremes among expats, with countries lived in and traveled to playing a major role in the accounting.

Many expats begin to live a double life. One life promotes a “normal and happy” that usually has little to do with what happiness really is; the other is a secretive life that is rarely shared with others or talked about. The sad thing is that this duplicity breeds avoidable discontentment. Living authentically – and damn the thoughts of others – makes true happiness easier to find. Inviting in judgmental people who live life as if they are keeping score is also inviting in misery. Deciding who to invite into your life – and who not to – is the first step in living for oneself.

Posted on 07 Jun 2015 04:33

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