Design Your Own Life: Challenge Nagging Questions

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No matter who you are, young or old, there are always times that someone poses a nagging question about your next step or decision in life. It is a situation that is almost hard to avoid. Well, this is the year to start designing your life, and not worry about others expectations.

If you are a student of psychology, you may be familiar with Erik Erickson’s psychosocial stages where he outlines eight phases of life, including specific challenges and decisions one faces during those time periods. He may not have thought of the questions that are often posed by family members, neighbors and friends about the specific direction of your life’s path. It can be very trying to only live up to the expectations of society which may conflict with your personal timeline and desires. 

That’s why it is important, no matter what your age, to make sure that you are living your best life. As you make decisions as to your life path, consider the following pointers:

  1. Don’t make decisions just because they are expected of you. Too many people become financially strapped with mortgages, vacation homes, tuitions for exclusive preschools, colleges, preparatory schools, etc., because they feel that they need to take the next expected step in life. It is not easy to slow down or to not follow your neighbors’ decisions.
  2. Try to define your life by what you believe in, not by the dreaded question, “what do you do." You don’t need to answer the question about “what do you do with your free time now that your child is in school or that you have retired.” Remember it is your life.
  3. Don’t label yourself. You life is based on your designed purpose, not someone else’s or society’s.

It can be hard not to follow society’s expectations, but sometimes those are not the right individual paths to take. It is more important in designing your life to take time to examine what you want and what time frame works best for you.