Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to

When someone tells you that you have to do something, do you ever ask WHY?  Or when society leads you to believe you need to go left, do you ever consider going right?  Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to.  And just because someone tells you you should, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to.

I got to thinking about this concept the other day at work when a bride told me (I photograph weddings) she was wearing really uncomfortable shoes that she didn’t want to wear.  She had a pair of heels that she loves and wears all the time and had really wanted to wear on her wedding day.  They’re so comfortable, she told me, but the lady at the dress shop told me I couldn’t wear shoes to my wedding that I’ve worn before.  They had to be new.  So she bought a new pair of shoes and was uncomfortable all day.  Funny thing is, her dress covered the shoes and no one would have known the difference.  But the dress shop lady told her what she had to do and so she did it.

I think this scenario happens all the time, with decisions big and small.  We do things, not because it’s what our heart wants but because it’s what we think we SHOULD be doing or what people are telling us we need to do.  The real bitch of it all is that we think these things should bring us happiness.  All my friends drive new cars so I should buy a new car, maybe that will make me happy.  Then you buy a new car, take on a massive new monthly payment, you miss your old car that you loved and it ran just fine and then you wonder why in the world you ever bought the new car in the first place.

When SHOULD is weighing us down or our parents or society is pushing us in a direction, it’s OKAY to stop and ask WHY?  Ask others Why? but most importantly ask yourself Why?  Why should I do this?  Why should I buy this?  Will it enrich my life or am I trying to please others?  Is this what I want or what others are leading me to believe I think I want?  No matter how good the intentions are of those telling you what to do, they are not you.  You are the CEO of your life.  You’re the only one that has to live with your decisions.  And if you don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, own that, embrace your individuality and don’t feel bad.  The funny thing about being unique and true to yourself is that that authenticity makes you magnetic and eventually everyone will want to do what you’re doing so they can be just like you.

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By Michele


Hi, I'm Michele, a nomadic wedding photographer and lover of the great outdoors. I live on the road full-time and document my adventures daily. This is my personal blog where I share and record my thoughts on living simply and intentionally with less stress and more joy. Check out my wedding and portrait photography at http://www.oncwest.com


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