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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

On your own terms

“You don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to.”

- Chris Guillebeau

We each live our lives with different approaches. Some people are more reserved while others are more outgoing. Some people prefer to take big risks with their careers and love life while others prefer to take the safe path. To each their own, I like to say. As long as you are not harming yourself or others with your actions, this is your life to live. You get to choose which path you take and what kind of name you wish to make for yourself. Or not. It's up to you. It's not up to your parents, political parties, society or religions. You get to choose how to live your life.

We were all raised differently. While our upbringing shapes where we start out as adults, from there, it's on us to decide the values we wish to live by and how we choose to model ourselves for the rest of the world. We may discover our values shift as we become adults. I went from being religious to being Spiritual. After considering my options for political affiliations, I chose to become an independent. With my career path, I switched from bigger paychecks to more job satisfaction. Instead of disregarding or arguing with people I disagree with, I now seek to understand and hopefully find some common ground.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

All of my experiences have helped shape my current path in life, including many twists, turns, detours and dead ends. As I gain more knowledge and interact with more people, I feel even stronger about my values and the person I choose to be. It's a far cry from the person I used to be. Our life experiences should force us to question our values and what is truly important to us. Family. Career. Relationships. Community. We each have our own area of life we gravitate toward. What is important to you may not be important to others, and what is important to them may not be important to you. That can be a tough pill to swallow for some.

We can only control what is important to us and focus on living those values. We can also choose to keep doing things that bring us joy and continue to be a living example of what we feel it means to be a good human and live a good life. We do not have to live our lives on other people's terms or by their expectations of what it means to truly live life. It's different for everyone. If we choose to focus more on what we feel it means to truly live life, we are no longer swayed or limited by the expectations of others. We instead choose to live life on our own terms.

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