Most of us wouldn’t mind being happier, and because of this, we do what we can to achieve this. We work harder, earn more money, and buy fancier possessions. We buy into the belief that this rat race will get us to the state we want. What happens if it doesn’t?
One flaw to this idea is the idea of status. I’ve met people who will do whatever it takes to look “cool” to others, even if it means sacrificing their passion, happiness, or potential. I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. It’s a common problem, yet we need to fix it.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s better to choose yourself over being cool:
1. You Sacrifice Long-Term Enjoyment for Short-Term Pleasure
Would you rather have a lifestyle that everyone thinks is cool but you hate or a lifestyle you love but everyone else thinks is just okay? Screw what other people think. You have the power to live the life of your dreams, and if this life isn’t what other people want, it doesn’t matter.
Unfortunately, many people die settling for the first choice. They would rather take a job that looks glamorous from the outside but is hell on the inside. While others admire how much money some of these professions make, they’re dying every day on the inside because they’re working 90 hours a week and don’t even have time to spend their money.
2. You Live Up To What Sets You On Fire
I was listening to a podcast who featured, Charlie Hoehn, a well-known author in the career development industry. He mentioned how he has a friend who is rich but works as a Walmart greeter for fun because he enjoys talking to people.
Most of the world would look down on that job title because it’s low status, yet this guy doesn’t care. Because he doesn’t care, he’s doing what he enjoys doing most — he’s not letting his fear of judgment hold him back from living the life he’s most excited about.
“Follow your own passion, not your parents’, not your teachers…yours.” – Robert Ballard
3. You Only Attract People That Are Good For you
Imagine what would happen if you pretended to be some rock star or high-status personality you are not. Even if you actually had that lifestyle and appearance, you’d attract people who have the wrong values and interests. Your relationships would be shallow, and they wouldn’t last because you wouldn’t relate.
People fall into this trap because they have a scarcity mentality. They don’t think the world is abundant enough to give people what they want. They don’t think they are good enough. Therefore, they try to change themselves and their interests to what they think will attract who they want.
Ultimately, no healthy person wants that in the long run. If you’re into books, hiking, and anime, why would you want to spend your time with someone who likes drugs and partying all the time?
4. You Become Cool By Doing It Your Way
I get it, if you live in a small town, it’s going to be close to impossible to convince anyone that you’re weird yo-yo hobby is cool. But when you grow up and move to bigger and better places, there are a lot more people and chances to meet someone with similar interests.
Rather than hide what you think is embarrassing or what you think your weaknesses are, embrace them. Stop believing you always have to be someone you are not in order to be loved or appreciated.
I recently went to an old-fashioned Swing dance class. The music they played and the dance moves they taught were old school American. It’s something your grandparents might play on the record. Yet there were over fifty young people my age there who loved it.
I thought the whole thing was a bit lame, and they would’ve been laughed out of my old high school but I couldn’t convince anyone there otherwise. That’s because, in their group, everyone else thought it was super cool and that’s all that mattered. I was in the minority.
On the same theme, by setting boundaries and not over compromising, you don’t become a chameleon by pretending that you’re interested in other people’s interests just to get them to like you.
5. You Live A Healthier, More Pleasurable Life
There are billions of people out there. The more you meet, the more you realize how different each person’s interests can be, thus it’s important to embrace what you like doing and who you are.
Yes, you’ll be whacky. Yes, you’ll find people who make fun of you. No, that doesn’t mean you never change anything about you. However, it does mean being okay with what your unique goals and visions are — not someone else’s.
Too many of us waste our lives living up to our parent’s, friend’s, or society’s expectations, only to hate our lives and feel like we’re dying a little every day. Wouldn’t you rather live a life you love even if it wasn’t “cool” by society’s standards? If you’re living your dream life and making six figures a year shining shoes, who cares if others think it’s low status? You’re making more than them and you live for it.
“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley
Life is sometimes a balancing act. In this case, you don’t want to be so rigid in your interests that you never try something new or are unable to keep a conversation going. You also don’t want to lie too much by pretending you’re interested in things that bore you.
Similarly, you want to find a healthy balance between something that pays the bills and excites you. Life doesn’t always have to be a compromise. Eventually, you may even find something that is also cool to the people who matter to you.
Let us know in the comments what you think is cool that others may not.
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com