There are many ways to answer the question, Who are you living for? Looking at it from an altruistic perspective, we could say that we live to serve our communities. Answering the question from a parent’s lens, we could say that we live to provide and support our families. From an individualistic perspective, we might say that we live to achieve our dreams and fulfill our potential.
No matter how we answer the question, it is essential to remember that the way we live our lives should reflect what matters most to us. If we live for ourselves, then our lives should be about selfish pursuits. If we live to serve others, our lives should be focused on giving back.
The important thing is that we know the reason behind our actions. Why are we working so hard? What motivates us to keep going even when things get tough? Knowing the answer to these questions can help us lead more fulfilling lives.
Are you living for other people?
When we post to social media or go out of our way to help a stranger, what drives us to do that? Do we want to portray a life on social media that makes us look like we have it all? Are we trying to show perfection? Are we helping the stranger because we want to be seen as a good person? Or is it because we genuinely care about other people and want to improve their lives?
It’s essential to think about our motivations behind our actions because that can help us live more fulfilling lives. If we only do things to get something in return, we might feel empty or dissatisfied. But if we do things because we genuinely care about others and want to make a difference in the world, we will likely find more satisfaction in our lives.
Immanuel Kant spoke about our motivations as well. He said that we should always act so that we can also will our actions to become a universal law. In other words, we should only do things that we would want everyone else to do.
Putting your life out there
There are a lot of people that like to live their lives out loud on social media—posting pictures of food, posting every update imaginable about their lives. There are a lot of people that are anxious about their portrayals on social media. They are worried about what other people will think of them if they post too much or don’t post enough.
This way of living can be draining, and take away from our genuine connections with others. We might find ourselves comparing our lives to the lives we see on social media and feeling like we don’t measure up.
It’s important to remember that social media does not accurately portray reality. People only post the highlights of their lives, not the mundane day-to-day tasks that make up most of our lives. We shouldn’t compare our behind-the-scenes footage to someone else’s Hollywood production and feel bad about ourselves.
What’s the point?
We need be comfortable with ourselves. As we are, not the fake version. We need to live for ourselves, and act in ways that serve our personal moral and ethical needs. If we act solely for the benefit of image, we have missed the opportunity to be ourselves. IF we post the picture with the thought of “I wonder how many likes this will get?” We have lost before we have begun.
If you have ever been afraid to show who you really are, look inside and discover why? Why bother to worry about the opinions of others? Do you think they are worrying about you?
Live for yourself. Be a good person. Work hard. Do these things for you. Not because you feel you need to to appease your friends/family/followers.