Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how society typically operates and how we collectively move from one stage to the next in a seemingly robotic-like state. Most of the time, we act without even realizing it. Perhaps I am more attuned to this cyclical way of living because I grew up in a very specific culture and I was always wanting to break the rules. However, I could not help but notice this as I grow older and naturally move through the stages of life along with everyone else. If you feel like you’ve been living in a stale cycle and want to break it, I’m going to talk about five preconceptions to throw away so that you can live life satisfactorily at your own pace.
1 Society’s Timeline
If you grow up in a middle class household, the general preconceptions go as followed: Graduate high school, go to college, earn a degree, enter the workforce, get married, have children and retire. This is what society expects from you because it is the path majority of people follow without even realizing. Not to discount these important milestones because they too describe my life thus far. However, I have been putting a lot of thought into the pace of accomplishing these.
I would say that by your thirties, you are definitely expected to be working a stable job, married and thinking of having children soon if you did not already. This is just the expected ebb and flow of life. Yet, if you stray from this path or timeline, some people may start to question your decisions and why you can’t seem to keep up with everyone else.
2 Golden Life Rules
In this day and age, society has come such a long way but I do see this as an area we need to work on. We unconsciously pass judgement on those who are maybe taking longer to reach these events or those who don’t go through them at all. It is simply not fair to expect everyone to have the same goals or be at the same pace.
Obviously this epiphany is impossible to implement onto an entire society when these general milestone guidelines have been around for so long. Instead, it is important to instill the idea that it is okay to stray from the norm. Who cares if you are not married by the age of thirty? If you know marriage or children are not right for you at this point in time, no one else should have the right to pass judgement on your own life. And you have no need to be apologetic or feel guilty about it.
3 You need something new
As somewhat of a marketer, I think of the biggest preconceptions that hinder us is thinking that we need something new. That there’s a silver bullet, a technique, or strategy that we don’t yet know about – and it would drastically improve or change our lives. When in fact, all we really need to do is practice what we already know and get really good at it.
You’ve got some preconceptions about how blogging works, how social media and brand partnership works. You’ve read all the rules, every blog post and every guide about it, but all you need to do is empty your cup. Throw out any preconceptions you have so you can be more free and independent about what you’re doing. We all have enough tools to succeed at what we’re doing. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Just figure out how you can do it better.
4 Do what you love
We’re often told the old adage of “do what you love”. But I believe that there’s good in doing what makes you uncomfortable. If you love something, it’s hard to detach yourself from it and see it from an objective point of view. You also won’t want to change it. However, if you dislike something, it allows you to develop a new point of view. You never know what solutions you can come up with, so embrace what you don’t like (to a certain degree).
5 Live Your Own Life
Only you should have the power to dictate your own life. You may receive outside pressure from friends, family and coworkers but it is important to do what you want to do, especially when your own happiness is at stake. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself because life is too short to jump the gun on something you are not totally committed to.
Instead, live by your own boundaries and goals. This is the way to live without any regrets or second thoughts. As long as you can see the preconceptions to throw away and challenge them, you’ll be able to live confidently and with the knowledge that it is completely okay to go by your own terms, at your own pace.