Your Life is Too Valuable to Live Like Everyone Else

your-life-is-too-valuable-to-live-like-everyone

Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.” – Author Unknown

I made a significant decision when I was young that I have never regretted. Simply put, I decided that I did not have to live my life like everyone else. I would live my own life. I would pursue things of lasting value rather than the newest fads of society chased by everyone else.

It sounds simple enough. Yet, countless multitudes will never make that decision.

Instead, they will succumb to the pressure to conform. They will live their life purchasing the trendiest products and fashion released to the masses – not because they actually need them, but just because their neighbors bought them. They will base many of their life decisions on the celebrity spokespersons’ pitch of the day. They will waste their energy trying to keep up with the Joneses.. all for the elusive purpose of conformity. And in exchange, they will lose their life and forfeit their soul.

Decide today to live your life. You do not need to live life like everyone else. Your life is far too valuable to be wasted on the life that everyone else is choosing.

Here are a few steps that I have found to be very helpful. Use them to get you started (or continue you along):

1. Celebrate your uniqueness. Your life was never meant to be lived like everyone else. You don’t look the same, you don’t sound the same, and your personality is special. Your deep-held values are unique. Even your laugh sets you apart. Throwing that away just for the sake of looking and living like everyone else is one of the cruelest things that you can ever do – it will always prevent you from fully living your life. Instead, champion the things that make you unique. Celebrate them.

2. Realize that most peoples’ lives are heading toward destruction. Just consider the latest statistics. For example: Last year, on average, Americans carried $8,100 in consumer credit (not mortgage debt) – that is $8,100 for every man, woman, and child in America. It’s no wonder 46% of Americans say they suffer from debt-related stress. And according to the American Medical Association, stress is a factor in more than 75% of sickness today. In addition, The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that soon “50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.” One of the leading factors? You got it, financial problems.

3. Accept the truth that there is a better life out there. Reading through the statistics above, one can not help but say, “There must be something better out there.” There is and there always has been. Unfortunately, most people are so busy tripping over each other to purchase culture’s newest release that they miss out completely on the better life. Do not be fooled. The better life is not being mass-produced in a factory… you won’t find it on the shelves in a department store. It has never been found there. And never will be.

4. Identify your values and allow them to guide your life. Grab a piece of paper and pencil. Across the top write, “What I most want to accomplish in life.” Begin making a list. Post that list some where that you will notice it every single morning. Allow it to shape your life. Base your decisions about time, energy, and money on those values. Allow them to guide your life even when they take you down a narrower road than everyone else.

5. Find a mentor that you admire. Surely you are not alone in your desire to live a better, more fulfilling life. Others have traveled the same road prior to you. Seek them out because you will need to look hard for them – they are uncommon. Perhaps they are in your family, your organization, your spirituality, or on your library shelves. Whether in person or through their writings, soak up as much as you can from them. Learn from them and be inspired by them. Follow their life, not the masses.

6. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Regularly pull away to meditate, contemplate, and reflect. An unexamined life is not worth living because the pull to conform has always been too great. Our lives will always “drift” in the direction of conformity if we lose our directional bearings. Withdraw often. Review your list of values and reflect on the current trajectory of your life. Is it headed towards the end you desire… or just following the easy road of everyone else?

Your life is valuable. It is the greatest asset you own. It holds potential for great things. Don’t let it slip into mediocrity by choosing to live it just like everyone else. It is not a worthy trade.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great post. Greetings from South America!
    I also think that Celebrate our uniqueness is very important. But sometimes we forget that, and choose (big mistake) to imitate others.

  2. says

    Thank you for this inspiring post which acts as a reminder for all of us about pursuing our lives in our own unique ways.

    I’ve generally done this with my life, but there are still ares of it that I’ve not been very good at and I’ve succumbed to living in ways I don’t like. Self awareness is the key.

  3. says

    I have a quote that I found a while back that I have have saved to pretty much everything I own. Its on my desktop, my cell phone, my email, etc. The quote reads “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.”

    It especially comes in handy on the days when I’m at work and start getting down on myself, such as when others are ordering food and I’ve packed, or when someone is able to take a vacation that I’m not. It’s a good reminder for me that I don’t have to do everything everyone else does, and that there are good and valid reasons why I’m doing things the way I’m doing them. I’m not eating out because I’m saving that money towards something (right now its paying off debt), or I’m not taking that vacation because I don’t want to put it on the credit card and be paying for it for 10+ years.

    (Actually, now that I google it… the quote came from here: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2009/09/you-dont-have-to-live-your-life-the-way-other-people-expect-you-to.html)

  4. says

    Great post! I can’t agree more. I quit my job last week to devote the rest of my life to freeing people from the bonds of debt. Like you said, debt destroys families and dreams. Thanks again for your inspiring words! Keep up the good work!

  5. says

    This is an inspiring post and I agree with all of your points. To live like everyone else seems like the easy way out if you ask me. “Go with the flow, stick with the norm, don’t rock the boat.” I think if most people stopped to reflect on your points they’d realize they’re not happy living like everyone else, yet a lot of people lack the courage to stray from trends and create their own reality. If they’d only just give it a try…

  6. Sara says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! What a great reminder. I think I am going to print this out and carry it with me for a while. Its a great reminder that we arent all the same and need not try. Thank you!

  7. says

    I got the quote of “You don’t have to live your life the way everyone else expect you to” from AONC:-)

    Anyway, this post comes at the right time. As someone who considers himself minimalist, it is indeed challenging to be a minimalist.

    I am a graduate who doesn’t own a car and no house mortgage yet. In my country, the norm is that once you graduate, get a car to mark your ‘arrival’.

    Lucky thing I realised those are only external symbols of success. The actual meaning of success. I define it myself. Because I am the one who is living my own life.

    Yes Joshua, my life is far too valuable to live it like everyone else.

  8. says

    My husband and I have always tried to be out of the box thinkers. Our family and friends think we are a bit crazy because we don’t just float along with the same current as everyone else around us. Frankly, if we catch ourselves doing whatever everyone else is doing, its our sign to stop!!

  9. says

    I’ve been a non-conforming weirdo all my life, and I enjoy it more everyday. It’s no fun being like everyone else.

    This, of course, comes from the guy whose blog looks a lot like yours –although not quite as much as it used to.

  10. Kris says

    I learned long ago that possessions don’t make you happy. Sometimes they even drag you down. And they often collect dust and need cleaning and organising. Less time possessions means less time spent on maintaining/cleaning them and more time to enjoy life.

    Yeeha I’m going minimalist. Just gotta convince the kiddos.

  11. says

    What a wonderful post! You worded it so perfectly.

    This is a battle I’ve been struggling with for so long – living like everyone else makes me so unhappy, yet it can be so scary to be the only one in many that’s different. Only recently have I really come to terms with myself and decided, no, I Will be unique whether or not others like it – because it suits ME.

    You have some good pieces of advice, and in terms of finding a mentor – well there is a great one right here :) I’ve found this blog very inspiring. Thank you for sharing :)

  12. says

    HALLELUJAH!

    I am so happy to say I have been finding Me all over again. A happier, clearer, purpose driven me without the accroutrements considered essential to be one of “them”.

    What a wonderful post – keep it up Joshua x

  13. says

    What a perfect post to help promote “Chaos Control” among my readers. LIfe does get to hectic and we start to look for peace, happiness and value in the wrong places.
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. says

    What a perfect post to help promote “Chaos Control” among my readers. LIfe does get to hectic and we start to look for peace, happiness and value in the wrong places.
    Thank you for educating us on the simple steps we can take to decrease our stress and improve our relationships.

  15. says

    Great post! Personally I feel point 5. Find a mentor that you admire. is the most important. In fact I would suggest that you find one to look upon for every area of you life. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Annette says

      Hi Gavin and everyone – any thoughts or suggestions around some ways to meet a mentor, or even just others with this same mindset? I find it very difficult sometimes, and I have phases where I really struggle to connect with others on this point :/ any feedback would be welcome, thanks!

  16. Susana says

    I’ve owned a tube TV for the past 13 years, the reason why is because I’m a strong supporter of reuse-reduce-recycle. It puzzled me how people would get rid of an electronic device just to get the latest flat screen, and now they trade their flat screen for bigger and bigger ones. My tube TV serves the pupose: to play DVD’s because I don’t pay for cable, and not because I can’t afford it but because I realized years ago watching TV put me in a state of depression. Watching other people’s life while sitting on your couch makes YOUR life slowly trickle away. Commercials, even if you mute them now they have text, plus the imagery they are a constant reminder of all the things you don’t have, could have and “need”. All that consumerism is garbage. I realized I didn’t need any of it and slowly started a purging process in May 2012. I’m glad I found this page, you help me keep strong, and keep moving towards my goal of becoming a true minimalist with an upcycler twist :)

  17. Brenda Bird says

    sounds like a number of people living ‘uniquely’ on hear :) . ME too on the Eagle path, Eagles don’t fly in Flocks :) I think part of it is learned patterns of behavior and then life can become so busy that … people are living the main stream – – I Think many probably heard in Sunday School & church that the ‘world’ has temptation…. and busy ness and speed can become a habit… Remember who won the race :) (turtle power!) …. We need to encourage each other positively … I like the six pointers

  18. Ksenija says

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain

  19. Rosy says

    what to do about the lack of like minded companions? The lonely is one thing that even a minimalist can’t get rid of. Don’t get me wrong, I like my choices and my life but finding someone who wants to live like I do in this material world is rare. Any input?

    • Daniel says

      Its very difficult to find people with the same type of mindset and self awareness let alone find a partner. Imagine its even more difficult for men, could take years or might never happen.

    • Sharon says

      I don’t know that I can quite call my husband and I minimalists, but we are not into material stuff and are avid savers. Most people who know our spending habits (or rather lack thereof) think we are crazy, I ‘m sure. Anyways, we met on eHarmony and their system really worked as far as matching us with someone who was very like minded. Not sure if it would work out for you in that way, too, but wanted to at least mention it.

  20. CJ says

    I recently started following your fb page and am so glad I did! This post is one of your best (so far!). Thanks.

  21. Deepthi, B V says

    It sounds awesome …LIFE means ” A LOT TO DO” & important thing to remember is ” WE LIVE ONLY ONCE ”
    Thank you JOSHUA BECKER …its my beginning TO LIVE THE INCREDIBLE LIFE

  22. says

    Happy to say I’ve never been one to conform.

    My husband and I have never felt the need to “keep up with the Joneses”. We buy classic clothing that stands the test of time. When we were able, we purchased classic furniture, that although we may pay more for in the beginning, will last far longer than a cheaply made piece. Not to say that we don’t have some inexpensive furniture, but two of the best purchases we ever made were more expensive pieces. We still own one of them fifteen years later.

    We’ve never felt the need for a McMansion, living in a home much smaller than most people consider ‘doable’.

    It’s all about what you find most important.

    • Jeannie says

      When I look back on my life… approximately 35 years ago. I would have called myself close to being a minimalist Person but did not know that then. I had ‘enough clothes’ (nothing elaborate) a few pairs of shoes, a coat or two, a purse until it broke or wore out a modest home, one car and thought that was quite ‘normal’. I find now there are just ‘too many choices’ in life and many of us just get sucked in to purchasing more ‘things’ as it is just out there wherever we go!! Since coming across this page I realize how I would like to go back to the simplicity of having ‘less’ and having started on that journey this has opened my eyes to the destruction of many area’s in my life that this has complicated. Just trying to declutter is very time consuming and can be very stressful at times… but then I look at what I have accomplished clearing out a drawer or a cupboard… and then I feel Great!! Thanks for this page Joshua you are inspiring us one person at a time and I know I have been passing this on to a lot of Friends!! :)

  23. Rose says

    My fiancé and I were married in our living room by the J.O.P. We then had a wonderful dinner out at an expensive restaurant to celebrate. No student loans, no car notes, no credit card debt. Other girls I work with are planning their weddings and I am in awe of their budgets. My husband’s and my favorite joke is that X,Y, or Z cost more than our wedding!

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