We live in a crazy, noisy world where everything moves so fast. And choosing to concern ourselves with only the essential things is important to our sanity. What we choose to think and care about says a lot about our mental health. The neurons in our brain keep firing and sending various signals every day. But we must garner enough discipline to control our thoughts and take charge of our lives. Sadly, most people never get to do that.
In life, there are many things that we shouldn’t even give a second thought. Those things cloud our minds like the fog in winter. And in one way or another, they affect our lives both directly and indirectly. When we carry the world’s weight on our shoulders, we only end up creating stress for ourselves. And instead of making the world a better place, we end up making it worse.
Caring less about the wrong things could spell doom for us. And caring more about the wrong things could lead us to the same end – doom! With so many things going on in the world, this may be a good time to care less about some things. So, yes! It is time to care less about so many things! Are you ready to see the things you should rip off your “care list”?
- People’s Validation
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Esteem is pivotal to reaching the last and final self-actualization stage. Esteem can be classified into two different categories. The first is self-esteem, and the second is the desire for respect from others. The need for people’s validation is an ingrained social behavior that humans and other social animals exhibit. This behavioral trait helps humans and other social animals to feel loved and accepted.
According to Maslow, the need for validation from others is especially important for children and adolescents. You see that need in children’s eyes when they seek your approval before doing a thing or praise after doing something. It is also this need for approval that makes adolescents more susceptible to peer pressure.
But is this how we should live forever? If we always seek people’s validation before doing anything, we may never do something substantial with our own lives. When we seek validation, we sacrifice our unique creativity and may never leave the status quo. We can’t change people, but we can always change ourselves. If we focus our energies on convincing people to like us or like our ideas, we may never achieve our life’s purpose.
- Comparison of Material Things
A few weeks ago, I attended my class reunion (high school) with a bunch of other classmates. During dinner with some of my closest friends, someone suggested we discussed the topic of self-comparison. All of us present at the table had to admit that we were guilty of this particular behavior. It was baffling that despite our ages and what we have accomplished, we still compared ourselves to other people. The funny thing is that we kept doing this even though we knew deep down that it was often a pointless, destructive tendency.
It is natural for humans to try to compare what they have with what other people have. “I want to have the latest iPhone or Rolex watch, just like John. More often than not, we crave to have something simply because someone we know (friends, neighbors, celebrities, etc.) has it too. However, there are dangers of comparing our lives with that of other people. Even when comparing ourselves to other people makes us unhappy, we still somehow want to engage in it and practice self-pity.
The truth is that we don’t know how those we envy get what they have or if they can afford it. And we also tend to compare our worst features with the best features of others. Stop being unfair to yourself and live life at your own pace! Be motivated to improve, but never fall into the pit of self-pity and worthless comparisons!
- Position and Titles
In Africa, we are big on titles. Almost everyone wants to hold one post or the other, craving for the benefits and respect it accrues them. But let’s face it. That you hold a title doesn’t mean you’re successful! In fact, there are many successful people without a title!
It is important to focus on your purpose without worrying too much about titles. Don’t get me wrong, if you have an ambition for a title, go for it! But do ensure that you focus on building yourself and making an impact amidst other things. And if you contest for a position and lost, brush up and go again. But never let this affect your self-esteem!
- Government and Its Decisions
Do you still flick on the TV and try to follow EVERY government-related news and decisions? This may not be the best thing to do with your precious time. Complaining about poor governance and its impact on the country does little to nothing in solving bad governance.
Your expectations of what the government should and shouldn’t do can’t change a thing. So, stop wasting time on Saturday mornings at a newspaper joint arguing why the national budget should have been big on education and health and not tourism. Their decisions may not always be in our favor. So, what’s my advice to you? Cut the crap and get to work on yourself!
Since we have very little influence over the government (forget that we are in a democracy), we should focus on achieving our individual goals. It is true that the government is responsible for its people and that their decisions affect the nation. Somehow, we can always find our wings and fly above limitations if we focus on building ourselves and becoming indispensable.
- Human Behavior Towards Us
“I can’t believe what David just did to me. I thought we were friends!” The world is replete with examples of people who were disappointed by how other people behaved towards them. Humans are dicey and, most times, unpredictable. People are generally selfish and want the best things for ONLY themselves. When it comes to others, it is not uncommon to see people you want you to be less than you are.
When it comes to decision-making, people usually make decisions based solely on what’s in it for them. In a world full of people looking after their self-interest and priorities, you must always be prepared for anything they throw at you. If it’s raining, don’t complain about the rain! Go out with an umbrella, get about your business, and you’ll be just fine!
- Degrees and Professional Experiences
People usually place so much importance on degrees and professional experiences. In gatherings, popular opinion is that the most read (in terms of degrees) is the most versed. However, this concept is not always true. You are not your degree! You are what you make of your life! So, as important as your course of study is, or where you graduated from, it doesn’t always predict where you’ll be in life.
Many brilliant young minds have limited their impact in the world by opting for popular courses like medicine, law, engineering, and a host of others. Most youths spend productive years trying to get into these courses in reputable higher institutes of learning when they could have been doing something jaw-dropping with their talents and skills.
Your acquired skills, combined with your growing influential network and work ethic, are almost all you need to get a better professional outcome. Several people flopped out of school but are now global success stories. Many successful people have never worked at a firm for one day in their life! So, my advice to you is that you don’t allow your degree and where you’ve worked dictate the kind of success you would have. Just aim high, create a plan, work towards it, and reach it!
Yeah, these are some of the things we care about but shouldn’t really care about! Don’t be moved by the things that freak others! Plan and work towards being the best version of yourself! Peace!