So the other night I was hanging out and for some reason found myself trolling articles on Yahoo! (don’t try this at home–seriously!)….and I came across a headline somewhere in between the latest sports star scandal and the latest Bachelor update (I think)…… It was something to the effect of “Things You Shouldn’t Do After A Certain Age” (can’t quite remember the exact title).
Now THAT seemed too terribly dreadfully awful and yet obviously too intriguing to pass up.
After all, who could resist being told what you are and are not to do by Yahoo!, right? So on to it I went. Enlighten me, oh dear internet search engine main page! How am I living my life wrongly?
So in the author’s view, what things should you stop doing when you are of “a certain age”?
-Stop believing in Santa Claus after age 6
-Stop carrying a backpack after age 26
-Don’t start anything new after age 40
-Stop believing in “the one” after age 35
Now, you can imagine the outrage that ensued in the comments (yep, trolled those too….breaking one of my OLDEST rules). Was this guy for REAL? Who was he to tell anybody what to do, any time, any where? The outcry was almost universal.
But then I went back, re-read his list, and noticed once again the last comment, which was something to the effect of:
-Stop taking advice from the internet guy after age 45
OH. I see. So maybe he was being ironic all along. Totally tongue-in-cheek. Totally messing with the audience. And look who fell for it. (Blushing and embarrassed emoticon right HERE!)
But the point was this: at first I was offended. REALLY worked up. What awful things to say. And apparently, nearly 1500 people agreed with me (judging by the comments!) But the more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder…
Was the purpose of this article not so much to offend people or tell them what to and what not to do as to make us all re-examine why we might care when haters hate? And moreover, to ask us if we really believe in ourselves enough to live our lives regardless of outside opinions?
In other words, why should we care at all what others think about what we do?
Was this simply a reminder that sometimes, the naysayers show up in our paths not to make us mad or discourage us, but rather to show us the strengths of our convictions?
I think so!
Especially when it comes to going for what you really want in life without fear. If you’re dream about starting your own business, you know how scary the idea can be just on its own.
Seems to reflect an inherent worry that we all seem to have to a certain degree–how what we’re going to do LOOKS to other people. And what others might SAY if we dare to be different. And if somebody that people don’t even know personally was able to generate that kind of outrage (not to mention ATTENTION and TRAFFIC to the website, AHEM!!), he must’ve hit a nerve. Big time.
The thing of it is….if we were ALL truly free, it wouldn’t matter what this guy–or anyone else–said about what we all said or did. We’d just shake our heads and move on to the next crazy internet story about God knows what.
But that’s the thing–it can be ALL too easy to care so much about how you look to other people that you really DO find yourself holding back. Not giving yourself permission to be who you really are. And at worst—not allowing yourself to go for your dreams for fear of what someone else might THINK.
The thing of it is, when you do that, you give your power away. You lose it all to someone who probably couldn’t really care less about you or what you do.
And here was some random internet guy making an example out of a LOT of people.
I bet the author got a good laugh out of all those comments. Because the joke was on us. (Myself included!)
So when the naysayers turn up in your life–whether it be a friend, family member, goofball on the internet, or even–dare I say it–YOURSELF–don’t fall for it at first blush. Give it a moment and actually hear what the situation might be asking you. Do you have the courage of your convictions? Do you really believe in what you’re doing? If so, GREAT! If not….well, that is good information to have, too. The next question is “why not”? Take it all onto yourself and also take control of the answer.
Because when it comes to it, I know you. You’ll want to GO for your dreams. No matter your age, situation, or whatever. Somehow, I bet you already know that the only ones who miss out on when you don’t go for your dreams are YOU…and the people who need you.
Definitely not the internet guy. 😉