Minimalism- No Need to Explain Yourself.

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”
― Richard Feynman

I was pursuing a particular line of career.

I left it few months back.

I realized it soon enough that it is not my cup of tea. Not necessarily hard or bad but something which I find no interest in.

And, simply put, I couldn’t see myself doing that thing for my entire life.

So, I took the decision to not pursue it anymore.

Simple enough, right?

Wrong. 

For the initial months, I felt like some criminal where people were asking me questions and I was explaining myself in the court of law.

“No, no, that’s not why I left it..”

“No, that’s not what I meant..”

“But, I had valid reasons to do so..”

These became the initial dialogues with what followed was a defense as to why I was right in doing what I do.

And I don’t blame people.

The problem was with me.

I felt this unquenchable thirst to go around and explain myself.

To go around and justify my actions.

To go around and say and try to prove that I was right.

And, if you’re anything like me, you do the same.

You go around explaining as to why you are correct.

You go around justifying your words and your actions, even though it doesn’t have to do anything with other people.

You go telling in a hope that everyone would agree with you. And will support you. And pat your back.

Listen. Listen, hard. You don’t need to do that.

People who require an explanation from you, they won’t understand you anyways. You cannot control how they think, how they feel about you. You cannot. So let go of that need. Really.

And people who matter- really close people to you- they might worry about you for some days but they’ll understand you eventually. They will know why you did it. They will support you. They’ll stand beside you and they’ll stand behind you when you fall. Because for them: you’re enough.

You don’t need to explain your actions. Really. 

If you’re sure about what you’re doing. If you know what you’re doing. You’re good to go.

When you go and explain yourself, it seems you’re guilty of something. And, you’re explaining your way out of it.

Are you guilty if you’re taking control back your life?

Are you guilty if you’re letting go of shitty relations?

Are you guilty if you’re leaving behind the past and starting afresh?

Are you guilty if you choose happiness?

Are you guilty if you choose to follow your dreams?

No, you’re not. You’re not guilty. 

And, it is not people’s fault. They don’t live your life.  They don’t know how you’re feeling. They can’t understand.

They will think what they want to.

And, YOU can’t control that. 

You can’t control what people think.

In the process of trying, you’ll be destroying yourself.

Your beliefs. Your dreams. And, your own self. The self-confidence.

The only person who deserves an explanation of your actions is yourself. No one else. Just you.

Solution to this?

Stop explaining yourself.

Stop explaining who you’re. Stop explaining why you do what you do. Stop explaining and justifying each of your life’s action.

Really, you think they’ll understand why you took that divorce or why you quit that job or why you changed that career or why you went into a relationship with that person or why you let go of that relation or why you do what you do?

They won’t. They can’t. So stop trying. Just stop. Put an end to it. 

It is OK to explain sometimes, when you feel you’re misunderstood, or if you have hurt someone mistakenly: it is OK. But don’t feel obligated to explain yourself.

You’re not obligated to explain yourself to anyone.

You’re not obligated to justify your choices.

You deserve to be happy. And until your decision doesn’t harm anyone, you’re free to choose happiness.

And you don’t owe an explanation as to why you chose happiness. 

Just remember: You can’t control other people’s thinking. You simply cannot. So there is no point of explanation or justification.

And people who matter will understand without explaining or justifying.

Go now. Be awesome. 

Other Reads:

1) Stop Justifying your feelings– Tiny Wisdom

2) You Don’t Need To Explain Yourself– The Minimalists

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16 thoughts on “Minimalism- No Need to Explain Yourself.

  1. Love this!

    I currently live with family until I return to university and this recently came up in dealing with well-meaning family. My aunt is still trying to push me into getting a “regular job” – even though I’m making enough money to meet my obligations here – and she constantly talks about how I need to get an education so I can get a good job and a good retirement, blah blah. I’ve tried to get her to understand that I am happy and that that’s all that should matter but unfortunately she is committed to her way of seeing the world and I am too busy being happy now to try to convince her otherwise ;P It’s still really hard for me as someone who is prone to people-pleasing and wanting to see everyone happy (which is why I do the work I do!) to deal with this and to learn to step away from justifying my choices to everyone else…but the more I’ve become aware of it, the more I’ve been able to let it go and the happier I get.

    Brilliant post, Hardik 🙂

    • Hey Samm!

      I am going through something closely similar these days.

      Related to the “regular” job and a “regular” career.

      But as you said, justifying doesn’t help anyway. The feeling that the only person you owe a justification is yourself is truly liberating.

      Keep reading and cheers! 🙂

  2. Man that was a great post! I definitely agree, you should need to go around justifying following your heart to other people. It is you’re heart, the things you feel are real, act upon them. Totally agree with this post. Keep it up!

  3. Completely agree and I’ve experienced what you describe here. I made an unconventional life decision and although i knew it was right for me, I was submerged in shame, because I did something that no-one I knew had done or understood. We must accept and embrace our decisions.

    • I agree completely. If we defy the usual template of the society, the people in surrounding gets extremely uncomfortable because they resist change.

      But, if you know what you’re doing and you feel happy. There is no explanation needed. Just be happy 🙂

  4. I don’t offer up much explanation for myself and don’t find that people expect much either. Or maybe I just view explanations as conversational.

  5. A great post. It can be hard sometimes to keep on track but these affirmations will be of value to anyone who is fighting the same battle as you – myself included. Good on you, Hadrik.

  6. Very nicely stated! I feel I have finally reached that point in my life where I don’t have to explain myself. If people don’t respect that, they aren’t really my friend….and in that case, no explanation is needed anyway.

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