To what extent do you, or “should” you care about what others think?

To what extent do you, or “should” you care about what others think?

I’ve been a fan of Oliver Burkeman’s for quite a few years now.

He writes about happiness and unhappiness, life and living, and often so much more.

I usually agree with his musings; but even when I don’t I gain much from just thinking about the questions he poses.

And so today, I’m happy to share with you one of his recent postings, one I hope you find interesting and useful as I did …

via Oliver Burkeman

In a line that really, really annoys some people (I know because I’ve quoted it before) the psychotherapist and author Stephen Cope writes:

At a certain age it finally dawns on us that, shockingly, no one really cares what we’re doing with our life. This is a most unsettling discovery to those of us who have lived someone else’s dream and eschewed our own: no one really cares except us.

Some of those annoyed responses are doubtless based on a misinterpretation: Cope isn’t saying that how we spend our lives makes zero difference to the world. Nor is he claiming that family and friends who purport to be invested in your wellbeing secretly couldn’t care less.

But I’m sure another part of the annoyance stems from a desire not to reflect too hard on what I think Cope is saying, which is that if you’re waiting for some outside authority to give their stamp of approval to what you’re doing with your life – if you’re telling yourself things will only be truly OK once they’ve done so – then you’ll be waiting a long time. And even if they were to give it, it wouldn’t be worth getting.

If you can’t relax into your life – or make a big decision, or launch an important project, etcetera — before having it endorsed as the Right Sort Of Thing To Be Doing, you’ll fritter away your finite days, when you could have spent them getting stuck in…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE