Making Others Happy is Making You Sad

Making Others Happy is Making You Sad

Photo by Alexander Montes / Unsplash

The paradox responsible for your lack of fulfilment

Making others proud is a one-way ticket to an unhappy life. 


Because if your main focus is to make others proud, you’ll get to the end of your one life, only to realise you've achieved a result you never wanted. 

Why live a whole life, only to get to the end and not even enjoy it? 

If you want to live a life of fulfilment and purpose, don’t follow the conventional wisdom anymore. 

Change your approach, before it’s too late. 

Benjamin’s dream

Benjamin grew up on a farm. 

His father was a farmer, his mother was farmer, and even his great-great-grandfather was a farmer. 

And he was to be a farmer too. 

But when Benjamin looked within, he didn’t want to become a farmer. 

He loved music and wanted to work in media to bring music to rural Australia. 

But, his father was a farmer, his mother was a farmer and his great-great-grandfather was a farmer too. 

So, Benjamin herded cattle, planted seeds and lived the farm life day after day — until one day he turned 85. 

And as he sat in his rocking chair, he looked over his farm, and a tear rolled down his cheek. 

He’d accomplished so much. He’d built the farm of someone’s dreams. 

But it wasn’t his dream. 

And in that moment, Benjamin wished that he could go back to when he was a young boy and pursue his dream of bringing music to the country. 

Even if he’d failed, at least he wouldn’t have to die wondering. 

Benjamin’s life is too common. 

We take the ‘smart’ option, the option our parents want — but there’s nothing smart about living out of alignment with your soul. 

If you do what Benjamin did, not only will you have wasted your life, but you’ll also have done less for society than you could’ve.

Because when you’re aligned with your passion, your work is infinitely more effective, and your excitement can spread your message throughout society (modern evolution).

So, don’t do what Benjamin did.

Don’t get to the end of your life and regret it.

Use the rocking chair concept. 

The solution to a life of regret — the rocking chair concept 

"The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are." — Carl Jung

Imagine yourself at 85, sitting in a chair beside a fire reflecting on your life. 

Don’t exclusively do what would make your parents, friends or society proud. 

Ask yourself this question: 

Would 85-year-old me be proud? 

If you did what others asked of you, wasting your potential and passion…that 85-year-old would be disappointed.

But if you spent your life doing what aligned with your heart and desires…
85-year-old you would be proud. 

And you can ask yourself this question in even the smallest decisions. 

Should I: 

a) skip the gym and get a burger
b) go to the gym and prepare myself a meal 

Should I: 

a) Go to the bar even though I planned to work on my business? 
b) Say no, and decide to pursue my dream

In these moments, focus on the question: Which answer would 85-year old you be proud of? 

You’ll no longer depend on the validation or thoughts of others. 

By putting yourself in your future shoes — somebody who doesn’t have ‘tomorrow’ — you can leverage the urgency and wisdom of an 85-year-old version of yourself. 

Will you rock in your chair and regret, or will you reflect with pride? 

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection." — The Bhagavad Gita

Don’t look externally for validation. Everyone has a different goal for you. They project their own thoughts and dreams onto you — whether they realise it or not.

This is good for you— normally means — This is what I wish I would’ve done.

Of course, people can give you great advice from an external perspective — but make sure it aligns with your values instead of blindly accepting it. 

Because there’s only one person whose judgement matters at the end of the day. 

So don’t leave it until it’s too late. 

Start applying the rocking chair concept today to put yourself on the right path — a life of meaning, purpose, and a life in which you might even change the world.

Thank you for reading!

I’m Eren and I use stories from experiences in my life to explain self-improvement — and how you can change your life by changing your thoughts.

PS. If you subscribe to the free weekly newsletter, you’ll get my 8 spell-like reminders to say to yourself to snap out of frustration, anxiety and stress, in the welcome email.

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— eren

eren elsewhere

eren elsewhere

Brisbane, Australia