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Have the courage to live your best life no matter how big the sacrifice

By Nina Steele 

Older people childlessI was reading an article the other day about people who have chosen a life of solitude, away from the rest of society. One thing they all mention is the sense of freedom they felt for living their true life. Admittedly, a life as a hermit is not for everyone. But I totally get where these people are coming from. One of the worst things that can happen to anyone in my view, is to live other people’s lives, as opposed to a life that is true to who we really are.

Unless you know who you are and what it is you want from life, it is easy to be distracted by other people’s lives. From my own experience, it takes time to get to that point when you know exactly what you want and have little tolerance for anything that does not align with your values and purpose.

I cannot emphasise again how important it is to know what it is you truly want. If not, you will be trying to be all things to all people, and we know how that always ends. Once you know what you truly want, then have the courage to bring it into existence. Often, people know what they want but are too afraid to do what it takes to make it happen. That’s because it inevitably means having to let go of some people and situations. Without courage, you will never live your true life. Courage is a prerequisite for authentic living.

A former acquaintance, a man, lived alone and had done so for many years. He was childless not by choice and had made peace with it. He was in his 60s then. A woman also in her 60s expressed interest in him. When I told him, I thought he would be pleased at the idea of a potential life partner, since he had told me about two failed relationships that almost ended in marriage. Instead, his answer was a polite ‘no’. The reason he gave me was that he was happy on his own and was no longer interested in being in a relationship. I relayed that to the lady, and naturally, she was disappointed. She had hoped that he would jump at the opportunity.

You might be called selfish for choosing to put your peace of mind before all else, but that is a price worth paying in my view. The last thing you want, is to be on your deathbed, wishing you had been a little braver. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you choose to live your true life? Yes some people will call you names. Yes they will talk behind your back. So what? As the saying goes, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner”. Our time here on earth is too precious to be wasted on what other people think. It can all be over in an instant.

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