Try pleasing everyone and you'll end up pleasing no one.
It has been ages since I have written a blog post about anything. For some strange reason, I am compelled to pen down some thoughts tonight. Please bear with me; it might be a little confusing as my brain is in a mess.
Well, I am sure we have all been there, trying so hard to be perfect just to please those closest to us. Since young, we were brought up to think that we are responsible for the happiness of the people around us. In the course of trying to bring happiness to those around us, we forget about who we are and what we want.
For all our lives, we have lived for people's acceptance. We try to be perfect in everyone’s eyes. Getting good grades & establishing good relations with people just to make our parents and peers happy. But no matter how hard we’ve tried to please some people, all we get back in return is rejection, each time harsher than before. I guess we have to learn this lesson the hard way; some people just don’t want to be pleased by you. We have come to terms with this reality, that we are who we are and we do not need the acceptance of others. We are unique individuals and there is NO need to conform to others.
I was sixteen back then, it was the first time I have decided to stop pleasing the people around me. Choosing design over science & math was a very controversial decision. Especially in the Asian culture and in my case, coming from a triple science class, 99% of the people around me thought (still think) I am crazy. I refused to please my parents, my teachers and my peers. It’s my life; I should be able to choose what I want to do in life and how I want to lead it. I will never forget the first and last time I went back to my secondary school after graduation and all I got in return were my teachers telling me straight in my face that I’ve wasted my future by making a wrong decision. They refused to speak to me and instead chose to speak to those that took the JC paths. These people were the ones that inspired me to follow my dreams and create my own future when I was just a mere teenager. All the façade of these supposed role models crumbled in my face.
I’m sure many of you face this situation, the whole stereotype of designers being dropouts and having no future. There is no certainty as to where design can lead you, but I’m sure with hard work and perseverance, you’re on the right track to being successful. Whether you’re in design or not, there is no one-way ticket to success. Everything requires hard work. Based on my own experience, I can safely say that there is no difference between the different routes as long as you choose what you really want to do in life. Without passion, you can forget about success, as you will never be able to overcome the multitudes of shortcomings and failures.
Fast forward, I have grown and matured with age. Cutting out harmful influence was my sole priority. I chose my friends wisely and only kept in touch with those that were on the same page as I am. When people tell me that I've changed, I guess the proper term should be "I have stopped trying to please you". I did not change; I just simply stop trying to be your friend because I have better things to move on in life.
All I can say is, invest in yourself, you can afford it and the returns are better. Your value doesn’t decrease just because someone can’t see your worth. If you have a negative influence in your life, cut it out. Stop trying to make it work because it won’t. Don’t change yourself so someone will like you, one day you’ll forget who you are and you will just be a walking hollow doll. Be yourself and attract the likes of you.
Be happy, spread the good vibes!