Who is really in control?
Life is short and you have an abundance of ways to occupy it before you die. So how do you spend your time wisely for the best outcome...for who?
Without a doubt one of the more challenging questions I asked myself was 'who do I seek approval from?' This is one of my favourite hacks as part of Purpose Optimisation. Such a simple and thought provoking exercise. Are you game?
Grab a piece of paper or a page in a notebook and write the heading:
Who do I seek approval from.
Under this heading, list the names of people who you seek approval from, in as much detail as possible, be as specific as you can.
If you have the courage to do this exercise, do it now before reading on.
The next question to ask yourself is 'why?'
Why do I seek approval from these people.
Write that down now as well.
For much of our life we're taught, through schools, games, sports, work, that our value in life is determined by what others think of us. We continue on in life seeking approval, wanting to show others how successful we are against their standards.
We shift from exam grades, report cards, selection in teams over to promotions, titles, salaries and status objects.
We crave the feedback from people around us to feel fulfilled.
We go searching for these things, we compromise our life now in the hope that the car, the house, the job title, the salary, the expensive (did I mention "expensive") bottle of wine at the table will be enough. Enough to gain approval from others. But they don't. The people worth impressing probably just think you're a wanker.
There's a reason money doesn't buy happiness. It's because happiness can't be brought, but it does get traded everyday for status objects.
Time with family, time with loved ones, the right decision for the environment, for people who need your help, for those less fortunate. These are the things that matter.
Who should you seek approval from?
When you are on your death bed, who's eyes would you like to look down upon you saying "Thank you, you did good".
P.S. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions - there are only your answers. So be honest with yourself.
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