How To Have Your Cake And Eat It In life

There’s a quote from Scandal: “Some men are not meant to be happy; they’re meant to be great.” But I say,

why can’t I be both? Happy and Great, that’s me. I want it all. The best of both worlds, baby.

People hate conflict, except when it’s in a movie. Conflict in movies is good. Without it, the picture is just a drag and has no right to exist.

In personal life, though, people don’t like friction. Which is why advertising always goes for the positive. Don Draper says, “Advertising is about happiness.” So, in life, I have learnt, when people see things as their own benefit, not as having to displease themselves in order to please others, it is easier to get them to see your point of view.

We are a selfish lot. Even when we are altruistic, there’s a personal gain we chase: what’s in it for me? Is it vainglory? Is it just the pleasure of knowing you’re helping others who are less fortunate?

However, as we plan our lives, many of us forget to do things in our best interest.

For instance, is it in your best interest to take that job? Really. Honestly. Is it? Do you sleep well at night? Does your heart beat steadily or you’re perpetually anxious? Is it in your best interest to have that baby now? Is it in your best interest to move into that neighbourhood? Is it in your best interest to starve yourself because you’re saving up to go on that trip? Is it in your best interest to leave living a full life until you retire at 65?

In whose interest are we making the decisions that define our daily existence? Mum’s? Dad’s? Mentors’? Friends’? The Internet’s?

It’s not so complicated, if you think about it. Yes, there are people who rely on us for something. But at times we promise what we can’t deliver because we’re hoping to make a point, or to please other people. And so come in the stressors that force us to walk the world perpetually on our toes. Eventually, the stressors crack us.

Choosing what we love and what we need is how to get the best of worlds. Only what we love. Only what we need. Some may call this minimalism but it’s about spending our energy and money on the things that mean something to us. Not what we are expected to have.

I wish I heard this before I set out planning my life. Thankfully, though, my life isn’t over yet. Outside, it’s a bright new summer day. Opportunities abound for growth. And joy. I think I’m going to seize this day.

Let’s take it easy. Most times we are our own harshest critic. Other people are too busy with their own issues to notice you’ve chosen a kombi bus as your daily driver. Even if they do, too bad.

So, what do you want to do for yourself today?

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