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December 19, 2011
  • Before you get incredibly over excited, this has nothing to do with Apple. Just a play on the i-naming craze. 

“When we pick up the newspaper at breakfast, we expect – we even demand – that it brings us momentous events since the night before…We expect our two-week vacations to be romantic, exotic, cheap, and effortless. We expect anything and everything. We expect the contradictory and the impossible. We expect compact cars which are spacious; luxurious cars which are economical. We expect to be rich and charitable, powerful and merciful, active and reflective, kind and competitive. We expect to be inspired by mediocre appeals for excellence, to be made literate by illiterate appeals for literacy…to go to ‘a church of our choice’ and yet feel its guiding power over us, to revere God and to be God. Never have people been more the masters of their environment. Yet never have a people felt more deceived and disappointed. For never has a people expected so much more than the world could offer.” –Daniel J. Boorstin

“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”-Haruki Murakami

Good afternoon SQers!  I apologize for the late post, but my post-finals weekend went by in a blur. However, I do owe you all a post so here it is a day late. Hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me 🙂

I hope everyone is doing well and holding up well with the rapidly approaching holiday season and end of 2011.  Has the duality of the stressful holiday panic coupled with the undeniably brighter mood made its impression on you yet? It hit me definitely somewhere between hearing Christmas music every where I go and people about ready to kill each other in shopping mall parking lots. Just something about this time of year I guess. I know it always makes me reflective and nostalgic so there is no better time for this week’s post.

Whether we are cognizant of it or not we live a majority of our life fenced in by expectations. Expectations for who we might end up being, what career we end up pursuing and even what kind of people we should spend our time with. These expectations are derived from just about everyone and everything from family, friends, professors, coworkers, strangers and even on a larger scale society. The infectious nature of expectation takes root in motivational material as well. Anything motivational you peruse will tell you the importance of setting goals for yourself and working towards them. What it does not tell you is to take the time to decide what it is you really want in your heart of heart’s.  I think if any of us sat down on a given day with all of the decisions and choices we made to explain them, it would be surprising how few of them came from us individually. You would find that a good majority of them were motivated by comments and suggestions from other people whether it is  implicitly or explicitly.

As shocking as that might be to realize, there is no inherent harm in that alone. Not living on an island means that our decisions will be influenced by other people whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes it can be a good thing giving us a direction when our personal compass might be coming up empty or giving us some basic rules to live by. Other times, it can limit us. Just because you should do something or you are expected to do something…does not mean that is the best decision for you personally.  To live the life that is best for you, you need to act based on what you want. Like the Murakami quote says no one else can tell you what’s best for you. You need to take the time to figure that out for yourself. Forget about living fenced in by expectations because as the Boorstin quote will also tell you that does not prove to be a rewarding path either.  Strive to create and live the life of your dreams because it is ultimately your time here on Earth and your choice to how you would like to use them. People are always going to have opinions regarding what you choose to do and their own theories about it all because they can’t help but be judgmental, but you are better than that. Challenge yourself to truly pursue happiness in the way that it makes sense to you even if that means defying expectations that have been designed to set you on a fenced path. Also, give the people in your life the freedom to do the same.  By all means, give your opinion, but don’t forget to love and support them in what they choose to do rather than just criticizing. 

You do not get time back and our time here is short enough as it is.  Make the most of it and do not live boxed in by convention and expectation. Your life is first and foremost yours so why not...defy? Defy expectation and give the strict supporters of expectations, conventions and norms something to talk about. 

That’s all for now. Have a great week!

See you next Sunday,

❤ SQ

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