“Most people do this, but I don’t do that”, “Most of society follows this, but I believe this”, “Most people don’t do this, but I do this”, “Only a few people believe this, but I believe this.” Have you ever uttered phrases like this prior to making a statement regarding yourself? For example, “how many people wake up at 5am in the morning? Not many people but I do!” Or “most people waste their money buying new gadgets not understanding that it is the same device they already have. You see, that’s why I am a minimalist.”
The statements above are not only examples, but they are statements I have made countless times over the years. Through these statements, I am justifying my actions based on my perception of what society is or is not doing. While calling out society, I am silently patting myself on the back but also looking for the approval of others or at least a reaction of surprise.
But the truth is: No matter what most of society does or does not do have any impact on whether I will do something or not.
For instance, it is irrelevant if most people sleep-in as it has no impact if I will actually get up, turn my alarm off, go to the gym, and workout. No matter how most of society spend their money, it has no impact on whether I will actually follow my budget, invest, and adhere to my savings plan. In reality, this is all up to me.
Truthfully, who cares what everyone else is doing, anyway!? We, including myself, give other people too much credit for our hard work and allow them to be role players or serve as a catalyst for our actions. What everyone else is doing has nothing to do with what you’re doing. Yes, it may sound nice to say, “I’m doing this, and most people don’t do this or that”, but they are words that don’t need to be said. By focusing on what others are or are not doing, you are simultaneously removing your focus from what you’re doing or could be doing.
Focus on yourself and do not let what people are or are not doing enter the equation towards your greatest self. You know why? Because you’re focused on your plan, your skill development, your health, your financial plan, your exercise goals, your relationships, your career.
Only you can direct your life. Only you can discipline yourself. Only you can decide not to hit the snooze button in the morning. Only you can determine to lace up your running shoes and run those miles after work. Only you can sit down and study for that exam rather go drinking with your buddies. Only you can put the extra money away into your savings plan rather than spending it. At the end of the day, the effort, the discipline, and the focus are between you and you and society does not play a role in that.
Photo Credit: “When the clouds broke.” Alfred Aloushy 2019.