THE BLOG
10/07/2014 07:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Stop Doing What You Are Supposed to Do

I was in an airport, with a dear friend, after a beautiful vacation and awaiting our flight. We were prepping to get back to the daily routines and talking about life and her job and some other next step things. She was currently at a 'place holder' job while waiting for an opening in a more suitable position.

I was wondering why she didn't just put more time into her part time job that she actually enjoyed and was passionate about, instead of continuing to bore-herself-to-death at a job where she didn't feel purposeful for eight hours a day, jammed in between a two-hour commute each way.

Her answer, "well, I want to buy a house." 2014-10-07-house.jpg

This statement sort of surprised me. I thought she was pretty happy with her living situation at that time and she was single, so of course I said, "You want to move? Why do you want to buy a house?"

And then, there it was, the phrase that made me cringe ... "because I'm 30 years old, that's what you're supposed to do."

I had two thoughts. One was: who dictates what you are supposed to do? The second: I'm older than that and don't own a house, nor do I want to. I didn't even know where to start in my response.

The crazy thing is that very often when I first start working with clients, I hear them telling me, I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, but I feel completely unfulfilled.

Here are my questions: Who told you what you were supposed to do? Are you fulfilling someone else's dream?

Now, of all the friends I have that own houses, I've never heard any of them say, "now that I bought a house, I am feeling truly fulfilled." Usually in reference to their house, I'm more likely to hear things like: something broke, it's so much work, the kitchen is being redone, we can't go out we have a mortgage to pay, there's a leak in the roof, the pool needs to be cleaned again and I can go on and on. (P.S. this is why I don't want to buy a house.)

And what's worse is when I do ask, well who said you were supposed to do that (whatever it may be)? I get answers like, "well, everyone, society, my family, it's just what everyone does." So I have to ask ... is everyone/society/your family happy and fulfilled with what you are supposed to do?

The truth is, you have the power to create the life you WANT, the way YOU want it.

I would bet if I asked 100 people what they think they are supposed to do with their life, I would probably get 100 different answers. I'm not even sure how anyone could think there is a cookie cutter way to get through life.

I hear things like...
You are supposed to find love, get married and have babies by a certain age.
You are supposed to go to college to get a job.
You have to work a 9 to 5 job with benefits and eventually you can retire with money.
You should stay in [insert prestigious career] even if it sucks the life out of you and you remain unfilled, that's just how it is.
You are supposed to have a certain amount of money in the bank by a certain age.

Here's the thing. Following someone, anyone, everyone else's idea of how life should be will never be fulfilling for you.

When you follow your own path and truly live life on your terms ... because who else's terms are there? That's when you get that feeling of enjoyment and happiness. How could you possibly enjoy someone else's idea of the ideal life?

What's your ideal life? What would really make you happy?
Tell us in the comments below.

Your path may not involve buying a house; maybe your path is a journey around the world, living wherever you see fit. Maybe your path is fulfilling a mission that you will do no matter what and no matter how. Maybe your path IS buying a house at 30, but because that's where your path has lead you, not because you feel you 'should.'

My point, there is no such thing as 'what you're supposed to do' there is 'what you want to do?' and when you live that way, you will open yourself up to receiving what you truly want.

Don't be afraid to want something different than the people around you. Follow your own journey wherever it takes you.


Laura Ann Allahverdi is a Personal Life Coach, Strategist & Game Changer. Founder of www.lauraslifecoaching.com, her mission is to bring you to living beyond what you believe you are capable of. That means a life of passion and purpose. A resident New Yorker, she works one on one with private clients all over the world to get them unstuck and creating life they way they really want it. She can quickly get to the root of the matter and bring clients to see things differently. "When you think differently, you do things differently and then you get different results."