There are so many questions.
I need a big reset on certain aspects of my life that haven’t been in line with my routine. My eating habits have been off lately; I’ve taken to eating more chips and sweets, and in doing so for a sustained period, my body has been craving for these.
I used to have a stronghold on things. I value so much the discipline that my parents instilled in us ever since we were children, that I have extended this sense of discipline as an adult. However, holding myself to this kind of routine hinders me from interacting normally from others. I would be the first one to walk away from a lunch if I feel that we’ve taken too much time sitting there and being lazy. I would be the first to create a mental list about “what not to do” when I see an action that is not congruent with what I believe in– for example, if I see people around me waste so much money on shopping, my first thought is,”note to self: do not be excessive like them.” These are just some of the examples of that kind of discipline I grew up with, and to tell you the truth, it has been instrumental in my success thus far. I’ve managed to be a member of top graduates at a very competitive and prestigious institution. I’ve managed to insert myself in a very competitive industry where there is a few of us minorities. In my life, everything is optimized– from the calories I consume down to the cent I spend. I renounced excessive anything– whether it be consumption, display or spending. Everything needs to be at an optimal level, and I do endless experiments to gauge where that level is.
In trying to experiment with new things, I’ve opened up my sense of discipline to be more flexible in order to accommodate other modes of doing. I allowed myself to only go to the gym when time allows, and not beat myself if I miss a day to go. I became less judgmental of others’ actions. I became OK with the fact that people around me talked about shallow entertainment news and I didn’t attempt to change the subject all the time. In groups. I was more accepting of others’ methods to reach a collective conclusion– whether it’s a work project or figuring out what to have for dinner. I let myself be like others and agree with them, instead of always trying to calculate the impact of every decision.
But this was also at a cost to the discipline I’m so used to. Every time I conceded to another method, it means not following my preferences. I feared that I will become like others– average– which I try to resist and I realize this is what has been contributing to my stress. In this case, I was OK with it because it was just an experiment, an exercise with a deadline. Sometimes when you are welcoming an addition to your life, you have to trade off certain routines, adjust what you trade off versus what you take in– by trial and error– and find the level that you are most comfortable with.
I think it’s possible to be open to other ways of doing things and still place a firm hold on what you value or prioritize. And I am close to finding that sweet spot. Now, it’s time to reclaim my preferred way of doings things– with discipline, zeal and audacity for imagining BIG things– and let that ultimately guide me at the same time I am listening to the view points of others.
Yet, the question persists: how can I be more like others so they perceive me as one of them, part of their group, while at the same time, see me as a unique individual who do not just blindly follow what ever the majority wants (and be a good addition/dissenting opinion that will make the group better)?