Here’s a familiar picture.
You say yes to any and every plan your friends make. Even when you do not have interest in that activity.
You participate in rituals and practices that you don’t believe in.
You move in with your partner, even though you are not ready for that kind of commitment.
You pursue engineering, even when you want to travel and click pictures for a living.
You have practically been living every moment trying to please someone. And none of this has brought you any happiness, has it?
Why do we do it?
We worry compulsively about what others think, what they say, how they react–rarely stopping to realise that in the process, our life doesn’t really stay ours.
We have learnt to mould ourselves into something that society expects us to be. Unsure of doing things we actually like because there’s a chance that others may not approve of it.
Learn to distinguish between making someone happy and pleasing them.
Others’ perception of us tends to take over and dictate what we do or what we don’t. We make adjustments and compromises time and again in the hope of being liked. Somehow pleasing others becomes more important than pleasing ourselves.
Do things for the right reasons
Spending precious time and energy in endlessly trying to please others is an exercise in vain. Even when you do everything in your power to please someone, they may not even notice or acknowledge it. In the end you might be left feeling drained.
Learn to distinguish between making someone happy and pleasing them. It all boils down to the intent of your action. For instance, watching a movie you hate on the insistence of a loved one is different from agreeing to go for a movie after a long, tiring day when all you want to do is sleep.
Do things for passion, for joy and for inspiration. But most of all, do them for the right reasons.