Are You Living Someone Else’s Life?

I hope not.

By the way, here is some background: I had a class in Entrepreneurship last night and we had a special guest. He is Ong Peng Tsin who has founded two companies, Interwoven and Encentuate, and is one the Singapore’s best technopreneurs. He talked a lot about his experience of being an entrepreneur, how he started the two companies and what kind of difficulties he faced.

What impress me most, however, is the way he thinks about life. He said that first of all, the most important thing we need to have is clarity about what we want to do with our life. How do you want to live your life? What goal do you want to achieve in life? 10 years from now, when you look back, what kind of life will you want to see? Even further, when you look back in your 70s or 80s, what kind of life would you like to see? Will that be a fulfilling life? Or will that be living someone else’s life without ever living yours?

Sadly, many people just live someone else’s life. It means that they live according to what other people say to them or expect of them. Year by year pass and they have no idea where they are going.

When we have clarity about our life, all decisions will be easier to make. We won’t live according to what the trends are or what everyone is doing. We will have firm foundation for every decision we make.

The earlier we get this clarity the better. Why? Because we can never get back the years which have passed. They are gone forever!

Learning about this, I start thinking about my life. I once thought that I may want to pursue an MBA. But will that really do good for me or I just follow the trend? I also thought that after graduating I want to work for a big company. But is that what my life should be? Well, I should rethink about them carefully.

Boy, I’m just afraid that 10 years from now I will look back and see that I have wasted years of my life living someone else’s life.

6 Comments

  1. I agree that we should live our own life and not someone else’s life. Others might not notice it. But they’ll be surprise that they are not living their own life. This could be a start for those who don’t want to realize that they’ve lived someone else’s life.

  2. Yes, it’s not easy to realize that we are actually living someone else’s life. I think we need to take special time to reflect for that.

  3. […] One reason why we feel stressed is we are worrying too much about what other people say about us. We are busy trying to meet other people’s expectations that we may end up living someone else’s life. Don’t focus on being loved; life is too short to be spent living someone else’s life. Instead, focus on being what you love. Cultivate your passions and do what really matters to you. […]

  4. […] Boost your ego, if you are better than them. But this will only make the next failure more painful. So learn something from others, set your goals, and refine your actions. Beyond that, don’t compare yourself with others. 4. Focus on being what you love rather than being loved One reason why we feel stressed is we are worrying too much about what other people say about us. We are busy trying to meet other people’s expectations that we may end up living someone else’s life. Don’t focus on being loved; life is too short to be spent living someone else’s life. Instead, focus on being what you love. Cultivate your passions and do what really matters to you. 5. Cultivate abundance mentality Scarcity mentality says that there is only limited amount of resources available so that other people’s gain is your loss. Having this mentality will make you stressed, especially when your peers become more successful than you. So, cultivate abundance mentality instead. Abundance mentality says that there is enough resources for everyone; someone else’s gain is not your loss. There is enough for everyone to prosper. 6. Make failure your friend Failure is normal part of successful life. In fact, it is a friend of successful people. I love this quote by Thomas J. Watson: Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. The more failure you make, the more likely it is that you will be successful. Make failure your friend, and it will be much easier for you to go through each one. Seeing things as games (see #2) is one way to make yourself comfortable with failure. 7. Look back and not just look ahead Seeing how far we are from our goals may make us stressed, especially if our mind is occupied with it. So you need to also look back and see how far you have walked. What achievements have you got? What are your success stories? Remembering these will make you feel grateful for your current position in life. 8. Cultivate your enthusiasm Enthusiasm makes you excited about life. It makes you excited about where you are now no matter how difficult the situation might seem. It energizes you to always do your best. In fact, the ability to maintain enthusiasm despite failures and difficulties is an essential trait of successful people. As Winston Churchill said, Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. […]

  5. I’ve a real problem with that. I try to live life for everybody especially for my parents which makes it more difficult. Because they try to make me out to be something that i don’t want to be. And it is taking a toll on me and how i feel about things and how i feel about life. Its getting to the point where i don’t know who i am. They want me to be this person that goes to college and does better for herself. I’m doing that now, but what happens after. They look out for me to much and i am grown. I can’t even make my own decisions without someone looking over me. I’m so use to my parents controlling where it is taking a toll on me it really is.

  6. I am pretty much living someone else’s life. My family has a great deal of expectations from me and I am someone whom they rely the most. Before doing any sort of new venture, I always have to think whether it would have any bad impact on my family or not? Hence I don’t have the confidence and braveness to take up new challenges. I hope I get to live my own’s life sometimes later….

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