“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby
Are you guilty of trying to please everyone but yourself? I have been for decades! When I got my new phone, one of the first apps I downloaded was a free one with self help quotes. I feel that we all always have room for growth and for myself, I think I have way more room for growth than most. I don’t think of myself as a bad person and I usually do not do anything that I consider something I shouldn’t. I help others whenever possible and strive to always do the “right” thing. In order to do the “right” thing, I often find myself trying to please others instead of taking the time to really know what I want.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially when you are not sure what you do want or when you are trying to make huge changes in your life that require you to think in a way different from your previous thinking. When we have an aspect of our life that we want to change for the better, sometimes we really have to work at creating the new habit of doing things differently. If we find ourselves in that situation and we are having a difficult time with the changes, copying what someone else would do or what we think they would do can give us the extra push to make the changes a habit.
The problem, in my opinion, is when we spend our time trying to please others and never or rarely question ourselves about what we are doing. We need to take the time to ask ourselves “Is this something that I truly want or am I just doing this to please someone else?” I’ve often heard that balance is the key to life. I have found that is true. When I try to do everything one way, I lose the balance and I end up unhappy. It is easier to lose the balance when I don’t take the time to ask myself why I am doing things.
We all know that life is busy. Many people today have a schedule so packed full of things to do that we don’t have the luxury of having time to actually think about every little thing we do. I’m not sure that anyone ever has had that luxury. What do have is time to stop at least once a day and ask ourselves about one thing that we do. Are we doing it because we enjoy it or because we have to? Are we gaining something from it? Is there a way that we could do it differently that would make us happier or take less time so that we can get onto the things that do make us happy?
Nobody can tell you the secret of happiness. I can not begin to tell you what to do. I am requesting that you take the time in your day to look at one thing on your schedule today. Is it something that you are glad you are doing? Does it bring you happiness? Is it something that makes you unhappy or causes you stress? If it makes you unhappy or causes stress, is there any way that you can remove it from your schedule or at the very least spend less time on it?
Take the time to make yourself happy. If only for one minute a day, that is approximately a half hour per month or 6 hours per year. You may just find that those few minutes can do wonders for reducing your stress level.
So what am I doing to make myself happy? What am I doing to please myself instead of only trying to please other people? Well, today my area of stress that I’m working on is dinner. It is impossible to make everyone in my family happy with dinner without cooking several different meals or taking them out to eat. Tonight, I am choosing to cook something that I love. I’m serving northern beans and cornbread. Yes, I’ll make something else that the other family members like, but I am taking a considerable amount of time to cook something that I remember from my childhood. I’m allowing myself to relive those memories through my favorite foods.
What are you going to do for yourself today?