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Is Travel, Lifestyle Design A Selfish Pursuit?
Travel is just lost on some people, Christine at Almost Fearless has two of my favorite posts about people like this in Escapism: the Dirty Word that Keeps Us Doing What We Loathe and Why You Living Abroad Annoys Some People. Two short but excellent posts that sum up our feelings to these attitudes. “…to [...]
Saturday September 19 2009
Travel is just lost on some people, Christine at Almost Fearless has two of my favorite posts about people like this in Escapism: the Dirty Word that Keeps Us Doing What We Loathe and Why You Living Abroad Annoys Some People. Two short but excellent posts that sum up our feelings to these attitudes.
“…to them the rules have been set. This is a zero sum game. If you decide to not play the game at all, you’ve lost.”
Christine points out the distinctions between thinking about it and doing it. In an oxford dictionary way this is correct but to those who have been lead to believe their life must consist of climbing a career ladder and having a family for them to find happiness, there is no distinction. Somehow choosing a different path equated to being selfish.
Thankfully there aren’t too many who take a hard line on this, often it is those closest to you who frown a little when they hear of your unconventional path, most of the time though it is out of misguided concern for you than of actual disapproval.
Of the colleagues I’ve told of my plans I’ve seen a very positive response, in fact all of them so far have expressed their desire to do something similar but of course cite money, children, etc as things holding them back.
There is only one person keeping score in life, while we should all show respect for others the most important person we need to respect is ourselves. Maybe we have to be a little selfish in life to achieve our goals, I’d rather be a little selfish and enjoy my life than be overly selfless and resent it. Anyway is not letting things and people tie you down really worse than chasing a bigger house, better car and a new flat screen TV? The problem is often with incorrectly defining what being selfish is…
It is selfish when:
- We expect others to give themselves up for us.
- We make others responsible for our feelings of pain and joy.
- We get angry at others for doing what they want to do rather than doing what we want them to do.
- We consistently make our own feelings, wants, needs and desires important without also considering others feelings, wants, needs and desires.
It’s not selfish when:
- We take care of our own feeling, wants, desires and needs rather than expecting others to take care of us.
- We support others in doing what brings them joy, even when they are not doing what we want them to do.
- We have the courage to speak our truth about what we will or will not do, and what we do or do not feel, rather than give ourselves up to avoid criticism, anger or rejection.
Who is selfish now, eh?
This idea of being grounded doesn’t work for everyone, we live in a very individualistic world but when is comes to certain values that have been held for the past few centuries the individualist way doesn’t fit in. We are expected to compromise and if we don’t we are just being selfish. Almost everything we do in life will require some compromise but we should not over compromise on how we live our lives and pursue our goals.
For an increasing number of people, grounded is just another way of saying “tied down”. People get offended when they get the idea in their head that you think you know something about life that they don’t, regardless of whether you actually do or not they would rather get offended than question their own ideas. Their opinion is that you are running away from something or shirking a responsibility to society that they believe everyone has and must meet it in a certain way. That way is often the “grounded” life plan we’ve all be pointed down.