How To Do What You Want, Whenever You Want To
It Starts With YOU
A few questions arose after I published my last blog post about "Who Are You?"
Thanks to the wonderful questions from Rufaidah and Geetika, this post was formed. Here are their questions for you to ponder as well:
“How do you differentiate between who you truly are and what society considers as appropriate? Because we are the product of our environment, or at least that's what I believe. If I was raised up in a different society I, of course, would not be the same person I am today, and so who I truly am would be different. So how do I differentiate between who I AM and what society imposed in me the image of who I am?” - Rufaidah
“All our life we keep doing things for others & they become so habitual of us being around them 24/7 that the day we tell them that I want to do things for me, I want to live my life, all hell breaks loose. I understand we can't please everyone but how to get away in doing what we want?” - Geetika
Both of these questions point to the desire we all have to do what we want, whenever we want to do it. I firmly believe we all have that capability, but the obstacles in the way often shut down that desire.
The odds seem stacked against us and our dreams, so is it even possible to achieve the life we long for even if we really do try? And how can we feel free to do what we want with our life?
I believe we absolutely can live our dream life and feel free to do what we want, but it takes work.
Overcome The Pressure From People Around You
Let’s start with the people around us: our family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Whether it’s your mother, your father, you best friend, your boss, or your grandmother, they all have a concept of who you are in their mind.
This is normal human functioning - you have a concept for each of these people in your mind, too.
The danger is in believing that these concepts are all the person is and all that person will ever be. This is why “all hell breaks loose” when you do what you want to do and strive to change your life.
What you want to do most often doesn’t fit the other person’s concept of who you are and so their reaction is some way of trying to keep you aligned with who they believe you are.
Let me share with you the best way I have found to move forward in doing what you want even in the presence of people who want you to stay the same. It’s simple.
Have compassion for them.
They are most likely just trying to protect you from failing, hurting yourself, or making a mistake. They aren’t in your head, so don’t expect them to fully understand why you’re doing what you doing.
With compassion, you can understand where they are coming from and still move forward because what you want to do matters to you. That’s the only way you’ll ever drown out their negativity.
A Real Life Example
For example, in 2014 when I discontinued getting my doctorate degree in pharmacy, my parents were livid.
Okay, my dad was livid. My mom was silent.
I wanted to leave and do something different because I discovered I no longer had a passion for pharmacy.
I wanted to help people heal holistically and I wanted to treat the underlying cause of someone’s illness, not just the symptoms.
My parents understood my reasoning, but they wanted me to finish the 2-3 more years of graduate school I had left and THEN do what I wanted.
If I hadn’t been so convinced that what I wanted to do was right for my life, then I would have caved in and fit myself into their mold.
My burning desire to help people in a different way overcame the gravitational pull to the familiar. I did leave and I have never regretted it.
The sad truth is that the expectations of our loved ones can be silent killers of our dreams if we are not careful. When we are careful in protecting our mind and we do move forward in doing what we want despite what others say, we become a beacon of light for others to follow.
When we are careful in protecting our mind and we do move forward in doing what we want despite what others say, we become a beacon of light for others to follow.
See Through The Illusions Of Society
Now, let’s talk about society.
The environment we grow up in and live in has a profound effect on how we live our lives, but I don’t believe environment can ever dictate who we are.
For example, I grew up in the suburbs of Queens, New York living in a small 2 bedroom apartment with my parents and two brothers.
There’s a great contrast between the way I lived my life growing up and the way a child growing up in Cairo, Egypt lived simply based on what I saw during the time I visited. If I was swapped with that Egyptian child growing up, then yes I would be a different person in many ways.
However, who we are is different from everything we learn from the day we are born. Our preferences, our beliefs, our perceptions are all based on knowledge we gained as we evolved as human beings.
Remember, who you are is more than anything you’ve ever learned.
How you differentiate who you are from what society or your environment has imposed on you is by going deep within your mind. You must first be able to see through the illusion of separation that is created when we look at other people’s skin color, intellect, possessions, or beliefs.
This is not some “woo-woo” feel good talk. This is real. Science has proven that at the core of who we are, at the subatomic level, we are literally all the same. We are energy. The only difference is in the physical manifestation we see with our eyes.
By recognizing that you are not different from your neighbor, you can begin to shed the layers of what society believes about you because it’s simply not true.
Society says you can or can’t be or do something based on your level of education, your age, your sex, and even your sexuality. I don’t believe society’s presets are intentionally created to hold people back; I believe that they’re created based on a group of people’s best thinking. That’s all.
Taking Action From Here
From this place of understanding about the people around you and about society, you can boldly choose what you want to do and stick with it, knowing that you are serving YOU.
This happens in small moments at first, so don’t expect to change your entire life in one meditation session or in one day.
Radical shifts CAN happen that quickly, but allow the process to unfold in its own time.
It took decades for you to grow into the person you are today, so enjoy the work of unlearning what you’ve learned about your potential and the possibilities for your life.
You are so much more than you have believed yourself to be up until now.
You are life expressing itself in human form and life always desires growth. That feeling you have inside of you to do what you want, to forge your own path… that’s life. Say yes to life by saying yes to yourself.
What does saying yes to yourself mean to you? What would you do differently if nothing or no one was holding you back? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.