The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow. ~ Jim Hightower Click To Tweet
Over 7.5 billion humans inhabit this little planet we like to call earth. They go about their days and their lives, basically, in one of two modes: by doing what others expect them to do, or by doing what they actually want to do. I don’t have the statistics, but I’d place a solid bet that more than half of them are acting in accordance with number 1, which is too bad.
Why? The pursuit of happiness consists, essentially, of mind and heart trying to find harmony. What usually happens, though, is that while these two important (and sole) instruments of our soul are working at tuning into one another, we end up putting this all-important pursuit on the back-burner in favor of what’s collectively known to be the “right thing to do”. The problem with this is that it’s not our personal standard of ‘right’.
So, given this, I’m here to remind you that it’s totally OK to give a big f*ck you to the world:
1) When It Tells You To Behave According To Your Sex.
Because behavior mustn’t be limited by the boundaries that humans have established on gender. Redefine yours, or make up a whole new one if you have to. Throw like a girl, or throw like a boy, or don’t throw anything at all if you’re not up to it. I work in a startup that sells bridesmaid dresses, and the other day a mother came in with her 3-year-old boy; he was super excited with the dresses, the fabrics, the colors… The mom actually encouraged him to try on a flower girl dress. The little boy was incredibly amazed by his reflection in the mirror, and I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.
2) When It Tells You To Major In Something (Anything).
Because it’s always telling you to get any kind of degree, as long as you have one. And the argument itself couldn’t be more feeble or absurd. There are so many paths that don’t require — and actually wouldn’t be possible with — a college degree. The number of roads are infinite, and college is just the way to travel through a finite amount of them.
If there’s something that actually makes college really awesome, it is the experiences you have and the people you meet, not the diploma you get when you graduate. Most work positions in the ‘real world’ are attained through networking, anyway. So, if you’re going to go, do it for the right reasons. There’s a risk in going into college just for the degree, and it is the unreal expectation that this piece of paper will do everything for you, once you’re done with your education. It won’t.
3) When It Tells You To Get Married.
Because the institution of marriage is not for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it is a bad thing, I actually hold it in high regard. I just think it is simply another path that we may or may not take. Marriage is an amazing thing when people are not only right for each other, but also right themselves for that kind of commitment.
You see, it not only takes the relationship component, but also each individual’s personal compatibility with what marriage is. And, let’s be honest, chances are that you’ll only get one of those two key factors, or maybe not even. If you’re lucky, though, and you have both, by all means, go for it. Just be honest with yourself. Because living by and for yourself can be as amazing as marriage, just as long as it is what your soul is asking for.
4) When It Tells You To Procreate.
Because we are not going to go extinct if I, or you, or she or him, don’t procreate. The end of our species will most likely be due to climate change, and, as a matter of fact, procreating is not exactly helping fight our trend towards doom. I’m not saying we shouldn’t procreate, I’m just saying that the primary biological reason for it is no longer valid.
On a personal level, though, having kids and forming a family is a beautiful thing. And, again, if that’s your soul’s truest desire, do it, because it is most likely like nothing else you’ll ever experience in your life. But people who don’t really want to have kids shouldn’t be guilted into it; that is outrageous.
5) When It Tells You Not To Do Any Of The Above.
Because the trends will undoubtedly try to convince you otherwise. Our modern world is now more open to unconventionality than ever before, and being cool and hip is now all about being open-minded. And YES! Be unprejudiced, nonjudgemental, nondiscriminatory, and feel free to not only respect offbeat paths, but also share them and take them. Just be aware, however, that you can also not take them, and choose all of the traditional paths, if that’s what you truly want.
It all reduces to one thing: what defines you is the unique song your mind and your heart are playing together. Stay tuned to it.