"Conform, do as you're told, we know best..." No, the best life is the one you enjoy the most because you retain your own values and remain focused on your vision, not simply aiming to meet others' expectations or to be loyal to values that are not your own. Conforming is the easiest path to take but that may not be the right thing to do and you are unlikely to be happy that way - your conscience will plague you. Because most people follow the path of least resistance, it tends to attract and gather the majority, creating enough social power and influence in turn to create enormous pressure on others around them to conform to the group's values. However, those who make the world a better place - that's you, right? - choose not to go down the easy route and do not compromise their integrity.
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. A genuine person will be honest and conscientious, no matter how much sacrifice that entails. An insincere person hides behind lies, hypocrisy and deceit.
Wanting to please others or not wanting to upset them is not a good enough reason to compromise what we feel and know is the right thing to do; otherwise we climb on the slippery slide to a life without integrity, which is really no life at all. If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything.
Maintaining balance in your life is a common concern these days, usually posed as an issue of work/life balance. However, I'd like to look at balance through a different lens. At its core, I believe that maintaining "balance" means examining how fully we value and honor ourselves. And to fully value and honor ourselves, sometimes we need to take a stand. We already take stands for causes we believe in, we advocate for our children, and champion our friends as they go after their dreams. Yet sometimes we forget that the most important person to take a stand for is the one we greet daily in the bathroom mirror. Continues...
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