Please yourself

I always get a little overwhelmed at this time of year by the imagenumber of well-meaning posts and articles that suggest all the ways in which you can become happier and more successful. And these articles are so many that they even start to contradict each other – one says you should do all you can in the pursuit of happiness, another says that doing so will make you miserable!

There’s a lot of pressure to change things, as though it’s not OK to just be content as you are.
OK, so maybe next month you’ll want a new job, or new friends, or to travel around the world on a scooter. But if right here, right now, you’re content with what you have, shouldn’t that be celebrated? Yet so many of these articles subtly suggest that it’s wrong to be content. That’s it’s somehow lazy or reveals negative characteristics. But who has the right to judge your life, other than you?

What did people do 50 years ago before the Internet started telling them how to live? I’m sure they read the odd article in magazines, but for the most part they pleased themselves. Were they all miserable as a result? I very much doubt it. And that’s what people can forget to do in these modern times – they’re so busy reading what they should be doing, they forget to please themselves.

I really think that sometimes the desire for ‘new’ can be damaging. After all, for the most part, people just plod along from day to day. That is the nature of life. Yes there are life events that happen to people, like new jobs and weddings and travels, but these things very quickly become old news and those people once again plod along as before. There really isn’t such a thing as ‘new’ because it’s old the moment it exists, or is shared, or is done.

Although it’s good to have ambition, and to strive towards change and new things that increase your emotional wellbeing, it shouldn’t be a chore or something that you feel obliged to do. And that if it is, then maybe it’s because you’re content as you are for now, for today, and that that’s OK.

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