A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my car. As I was doing so, I ran across an old potato chip. My initial thought was, “Hmmm, I wonder if it’s any good?” Normally I’m not opposed to eating something that fell on the ground, since I know some extra dirt will only strengthen my immune system. My next thought, however, was, “I don’t remember the last time I had potato chips in my car, and I know how stale chips can get just overnight if the bag is left open…I better pass.” I decided to throw it on the lawn for the birds and continue cleaning.
A short while later I came across a Hershey’s Kiss. This time I knew where it came from. When I have my car’s oil changed, I bring it to St Paul Automotive, and afterward they always give me a Hershey’s Kiss when I leave. Looking at the Kiss, I realized my car was about up for another oil change, so odds were it had been in my car for about three months. After another moment to ponder I realized it was three summer months, which means it had been melted and solidified…and melted and solidified…and melted and solidified many, many times since it found its home in my car. Then I remembered what someone told me awhile back that, “Chocolate never goes bad.” Whether it’s true or just an excuse to buy lots of chocolate and eat it whenever you want, I don’t know. However, I figured, “If chocolate never goes bad, and this Hershey’s Kiss is made of chocolate, it should be good to go.”
As I started to unwrap the foil, I considered, “What if someone sees me right now?”
- Would I quickly set it down and pretend I was going to throw it out all along?
- Would I ask for that person’s input? “Do you think it’s still any good?”
- Would I justify why I’m doing it? “Well, it wasn’t in my car that long…I heard chocolate never goes bad…”
- Or would I simply pop it in my mouth, smile, and say, “Mmm, that sure tastes delicious.”
This made me wonder how often I do something based on what others think, rather than what I really desire to do. In my mind there was nothing wrong with eating that Hershey’s Kiss, but as soon as I thought what others might think, doubt crept into my decision.
I realized that when I make a decision it can be based on one of two things. It can be based on my years of living and my life experience, or it can be based on what other people think – based on their years of living and their life experiences. However, I realized my life experience will never match anyone else’s because it is only unique to me. Since we all have different life experiences, we’re all going to have different opinions!
Spending my life doing things based on what others think I should do can never work, because everyone else is going to be thinking I should do something different. I’ll drive myself crazy. Instead I should simply focus on what I desire to do and what is true to me. The more I do what is true to me, the more I live a life I enjoy. And the more I live a life I enjoy, the more I can share my prosperity with others.
I realized that one of life’s biggest stresses can be worrying about what others think. Since it’s impossible to please everyone, this is a stress that can add up quickly. So next time you face a decision, ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?” The more you find yourself doing what is true to you, the more you run your life, and the more fulfilled it will be. Do things that make sense to you, because that is the only person you’ll ever have control over.
With that being said, I did pop that Hershey’s Kiss in my mouth, I did smile, and yes…it was delicious!
To your true self,