Forget what people think, they’ll always have an opinion

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We live in a world where we let society control our actions. For some strange reason, we are so highly interested in what people think of us, what they feel is right or wrong for us that in a certain way we let the society decide what is good or bad for us. And by people or society I am not just referring to the people who are close to us, but in many cases people who hardly matter! Does that not sound downright bizarre! But at the same time this is, tragically, true. In this quest for maintaining a model image in front of people, we start hiding stuff; we start avoiding things, neglecting things, and start restricting our life in so many ways just to follow some weird social norms. Why this seems completely insane is because, at the end of the day, it is our life and if anybody should have a say in it, it should be us, or perhaps just our near and dear ones at most. Letting outsiders have a say in our life and the related choices seems completely out of line. My personal philosophy is as simple as it gets – listen to everybody with an open mind, but at the end of the day follow your heart. It is never bad to hear people out, to understand their perspective; you might even end up discovering something useful that you may have missed out on earlier. But don’t let people dictate your thought process with their opinions. Things take a turn for the worse when you start getting affected and influenced by what people tell you or by what they think about you.

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A perfect example to quote here is a scenario that every one of you must have witnessed or maybe experienced even in your life. Imagine you are watching a cricket match and a player gets caught behind the wicket, potentially turning the match from what seemed like an easy victory to something much more tensed and balanced. Now when you are facing such a scenario, you must have observed that about 80% of the people will start commenting, saying things like “This was a poor selection and execution of shot. He should have let this one go. He should have hit it straight instead of attempting a drive. It was the swing that did the trick for the bowler.” The list can go on and on and on. What’s strange is that if by chance the bowl would have connected and the team would have won the match, they would have praised the batsmen endlessly, and would have probably ended up saying “what a shot!!” What is even stranger is the fact that a huge majority of these people are nowhere close to being experts in the field of cricket, most of them might not even know how to play. As strange as it sounds, it is true to every word.
My point is that people will always have an opinion, that too about everything. Rarely will that opinion be credible enough to ponder upon. That does not mean you stop listening to everyone around you. Be humble, always be ready to listen with open ears, but take from it only what you find to be relevant and useful. Selective intake is the key here, eat only what you know you can digest, and what you know will help your body grow healthier. Don’t let people direct your life for you. Have you not heard that famous Hindi film song, “Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna”? Endeavor to create your own path and make your own mistakes. Be bold and confident enough to have faith in your decisions and don’t let anyone else destroy that faith. Don’t stop and change for the world, but fight and change the world according to you.Don’t waste your time thinking about what the society will think. People always need something or someone to gossip over. When they find someone new, they’ll be done with you. So don’t bother about it. You continue doing what you believe in. Move forward with your vision intact, and once you achieve what you desire the same people will not stop praising you enough.

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Let me give you a little example of how we let people play with our lives and our future as well. What does the society – in this case all our duuuur ke rishtedar – say when a kid in the family scores very well in his/her Board exams? The first thing you are bound to hear is, “Such good marks! He/she will definitely choose either Medical or Non-medical stream!” and they say it with such confidence, as if the decision has already been made, as if the child himself does not have a say in the matter at all! Is that not utterly cruel? And what is even worse is that we let society do this to us – even if such a child’s true passion lies in studying English literature or if he/she really wishes to pursue Indian classical music, all these innocent aspirations are swept under the rug and we let society make these super important decisions for us. Why? What will we gain out of it? will the society come and console us when, say, ten years down the line we rue and regret all those decisions that we were forced into? The answer is a big, fat no.
So stand up for yourself and start right now! If you think you are on the right path, on a path that gives you satisfaction and happiness, never ever let it go – no matter what anyone may say. Whenever you are in a dilemma or are being railroaded by the society remember that we will always regret those great chance that we refused to take.
Forget what people say, follow your heart today!