This past weekend, my wife and eldest son and I went to a beautiful little stable in Pennsylvania so we could ride horses.
Well, they rode the horses. I declined.
The truth is I am not crazy about horses. They bite and kick and horse stables smell pretty bad.
Also, whenever I am on a horse, it never does what I tell it to.
So while they rode for an hour, I sat outside at a picnic table and read my favorite publication, the New York Review of Books.
It was a beautiful autumn day. I was surrounded by hills with an explosion of trees decorated green, brown, yellow, orange, and red.
After the ride, my wife and son told me, “You really missed out on all the fun.”
But I didn’t.
I did what I wanted to do and I really enjoyed myself.
My point – and I do have one – is that you shouldn’t do what others think you should do just to make them happy.
You should do what you want to do to make yourself happy.
When I graduated from college, I took a corporate job which pleased my father to no end.
In his mind it paid a steady salary and was safe and secure.
But I was bored. So I became a freelance writer.
He felt I was making a mistake, giving up my safe and secure corporate job and my steady salary.
Early on in my freelancing, I did a large job for a software company and got a check for $10,000. (This was a lot of money in the early 1980s).
Wisely, I photocopied the check and showed it to my father.
After he put his eyes back in his head, he never complained about me quitting my corporate job ever again.
Make yourself happy. When you do, those who care about you will eventually be happy for you.
And if they’re not, well – that’s too bad for them.