Tag Archives: societal norms

The Power of Choice

I am on holiday and enjoying it so much. As I bask in the freedom and leisure, I can’t help but wonder why humans need to work. The answer comes swiftly: “Hell yeah, I need some dresses, bags, and shoes!” But then, a deeper question arises: why is it necessary to live according to what others have? I could be homeless and enjoy freedom. Who told me to buy shoes to look good? Does it make me happy?

The Illusion of Necessity

In modern society, the compulsion to work often feels like an inescapable reality. We work to afford the lifestyle we believe is essential for happiness: nice clothes, a comfortable home, the latest gadgets. However, this perception is heavily influenced by societal norms and expectations. The pressure to conform and acquire material possessions can overshadow our true desires and needs.

The Influence of Society

Society plays a significant role in shaping our perceptions of success and happiness. From a young age, we are bombarded with messages that equate material wealth with fulfillment. Advertisements, social media, and even our peers contribute to the notion that owning more will make us happier. This leads to a cycle where we work tirelessly to keep up with these expectations, often without questioning their validity.

The Power of Free Will

Free will is our ability to make choices that are not predetermined by external circumstances or internal compulsions. It is the cornerstone of our individuality and autonomy. Exercising free will means critically examining our motivations and making conscious decisions based on our true values and desires.

The Liberation of Choice

Choosing to live differently—be it embracing minimalism, rejecting societal pressures, or redefining success—can be liberating. It allows us to focus on what genuinely brings us joy and satisfaction, rather than what we are told should. The power of choice lies in its ability to align our actions with our authentic selves.

The Path to Authentic Happiness

Authentic happiness is not found in accumulating possessions but in living a life true to oneself. This might mean prioritizing experiences over material goods, valuing relationships over status, or finding contentment in simplicity. By exercising our free will, we can create a life that reflects our true essence, leading to deeper and more lasting happiness.

Just a thought…

The power of choice is a profound aspect of human existence. It enables us to break free from societal constraints and live authentically. While the pressures to conform are strong, embracing our free will allows us to make decisions that resonate with our true selves. In the end, the path to happiness is not dictated by what others have, but by the choices we make for ourselves.

Life’s journey is an art, not a rulebook


Life often feels like a tightrope walk, doesn’t it? I’ve experienced the pressure of societal, cultural, and religious expectations firsthand. People sees my life’s trajectory through a traditional lens. Divorce, an absence of a stable relationship, and an unconventional family structure paint a picture that doesn’t align with the societal narrative. Adding to the complexity, the tenets of the Catholic faith brand me a sinner, hinting at a purgatorial or even hellish fate. Striking a balance between personal needs and familial or religious expectations can be an intricate dance.

Societal, Cultural, and Religious Norms: The Happiness Equation?

Let’s delve into the heart of the matter: Do societal, cultural, and religious norms guarantee a roadmap to happiness? Does possessing material wealth, nurturing relationships, raising successful children, building a traditional family, and securing a prestigious job truly constitute success and fulfilment? The journey to answers is a nuanced exploration.

The Changing Landscape of Societal Norms:

Societal norms, once rigid and confining, have morphed into a more diverse and inclusive mosaic. However, the remnants of societal pressure to conform still linger, casting doubt on whether these norms genuinely lead to happiness. The evolving landscape prompts us to ponder if conformity or individual authenticity is the key to a fulfilling life.

Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives:

Philosophers throughout history offer profound insights. Epicurus, advocating for a simple life, free from unnecessary desires, challenges our materialistic pursuits. Jordan Peterson, in the contemporary realm, emphasizes personal responsibility and the pursuit of meaningful existence. On the psychological front, Erik Erikson’s emphasis on meaningful connections and personal growth resonates deeply.

Deconstructing the Myth of Success:

Success is often painted with a broad brush, urging us to fit into predefined molds. Yet, the pursuit of conventional success can be a fleeting endeavor. What if true success lies in embracing our unique paths, finding fulfilment in unconventional ways, and defining our own metrics for a meaningful life?

Coping with Societal Expectations:

The struggle to strike a balance between personal needs and societal expectations is an intricate one. The tightrope walk involves navigating open communication with loved ones and establishing boundaries that protect personal well-being. It’s an ongoing process of self-discovery and asserting individual agency.

Reflections on Past and Present Norms:

Traversing the historical landscape, societal and cultural norms were once rigid structures, offering little room for deviation. Today, we witness a shift toward greater acceptance and celebration of diversity. However, societal pressures to conform persist, challenging us to navigate these waters with resilience and authenticity.

Embracing Diversity in Success:

True success is a multifaceted gem, refracting its brilliance in myriad ways. It’s an invitation to embrace diversity in defining success — acknowledging that personal narratives differ and that happiness lies in the authenticity of one’s journey.

Conclusion: Crafting Your Own Narrative

As we navigate the labyrinth of societal, cultural, and religious norms, let’s liberate ourselves from the confines of external expectations. Success isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s about authenticity, personal growth, and finding purpose on our unique paths. Inspired by the wisdom of philosophers and psychologists, let’s carve our own narrative of happiness, understanding that life’s journey is an art, not a rulebook.