I honestly used to get annoyed by those laid back people whose strategy was "do what makes you happy" or "follow your heart" or, even worse, "if it feels right then do it." To me that sounded like giving yourself permission to make bad decisions, do the wrong thing, or become absorbed by worldly things versus spiritual things. Now that I am graduated and facing some larger life decisions, I am viewing that "if it feels right, do it" attitude in a new context.
Doing what you want is not inherently or necessarily "wrong" or "sinful." Doing what you want is not necessarily against God's will. Doing what makes you happy does not necessarily have to be "selfish." In fact, God designs each of us like a unique, one-of-a-kind painting with different goals, dreams and details that make us tick. As a result, some of my goals and dreams may seem silly or unimportant to others. For example, walking a yorkie puppy down a beach boardwalk may seem alright to you, it is an absolutedream and symbol of "self-actualization" for me. Likewise, driving a black mercedes around a racetrack may be an absolute dream for you, whereas I could do without it.
So what? What makes me happy does not need to make you happy. At one point or another, most of us will forget this. When we define what makes us happy by what makes others happy, we lose our sense of self. We lose what makes us special. We have blurred the details that make us a unique being. By blurring the very details that make us unique, we become a mediocre version of what others want us to be. Since it is not true or innate to our inner workings, we cannot be a perfect version of what they want. It's impossible.
Furthermore, this "mediocre version" does not align with the inner gears that make us most fully tick.It becomes impossible to maximize happiness. Since we have blurred the details of what makes us individually happy, our happiness is limited. While we may be making others happy by doing what we think we should do, this will only bring us mediocre happiness, as the joy is not coming from us but from constantly trying to measure up to goals, dreams and expectations of others. We will eventually question our purpose or feel lost.
You're never going to be good enough for everyone, so don't waste your time trying. Instead, make sure you are good enough relative to your standards of "good enough."
What is "good enough?" I have pondered this question, and I have come up with a few questions that, if you can answer, will help you to be "good enough" for you.....
1.Do you know what you like and dislike? Do you know what do you love? Are you able to define it?
2. Do you know how you want to improve yourself and what you would like to get better at? I'm not talking about how others think you should improve or what they think you should be doing.
3.Do you own your decisions by giving yourself permission to make them for yourself? Input is great, but sometimes, especially when its unwarranted or unwanted, it causes you to lose yourself.
4.Do you have your own personal life goals (no matter how little they might mean to someone else)? In fact, if all of your goals mirror the goals of others, I would suggest that you look deeper. Some of mine (that would likely not matter to you) are..... own a palm tree, have a Yorkie named Bambi, and name a daughter "Halle." Think these are stupid? Lucky for you, they're not your goals.
QUESTION for EVERYONE reading this post:
What are some of YOUR goals in life that you know will make YOU happy?
What is your version of "owning a palm tree" or "having a Yorkie named 'Bambi'"?