Pay the Price or Cut Out the Middle Man?

Ink on Gel Printed Deli Paper – Words: Rita Mae Brown

As we grow up somewhere there is a plan. The one in our mind, the one laid out for us, the plan in the mind of others and then there is the plan that really happens. We are schooled, raised, taught and even trained to do and be a certain thing. Some of those expectations come to us from family, where we live, where we went to school, what we look like most based on our demographics. Without realizing it we are raised and conform to the ideas of others without even knowing what those ideas are or where they originated. Everyone has a different definition of the plan and how we will know what that plan is successful.

For some people success is about money, power, things, promotion. For others success is about changing the world, making it better. For some success is defined by relationships and the people in our lives. And still another group thinks success is all about being yourself no matter what. In actuality success is a personal definition, one we must validate for ourselves. It is a combination of all these things, define them and then smeared it over all the areas of our life like peanut butter and jelly in a preschoolers lunchbox. We have to be willing to deal with our definition of success as we change, our life changes, and our circumstances alter on a daily basis. One finite or conforming description of what success is only makes it more difficult to measure it for ourselves.

Having the freedom to be who you are – whether or not people understand or respect you – means having the gumption to be you. No matter what. The most important thing is that you like you, no matter what other people think. Which means you may feel like you live outside the “success” lines drawn by society AND being okay with that is part of your own definition of success.

All in all, we can conform and live by how other people define us. Or we can define our own success and live each day to fulfill that purpose, that meaning in our own lives…no matter the dollars, things, activities or inclusion we receive from others. There is a price to conforming, one that has a costly payment we all must pay. The real question is are we willing to pay that price or are we ready to live our own definition of success and cut out the middle man? Each day we choose…so choose wisely!

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