“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone”. These are definitely words of wisdom to live by. Unfortunately I can’t take credit for this one. But chances are you’ve heard of the person who said it….Bill Cosby. I think this is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard in life. There is no way in the world we will ever be able to please everyone. We all have different tastes, styles, preferences and personalities to put in sync for that to happen. Plus, wouldn’t it be pretty boring if we did things that pleased everyone anyway? So what is the point of me bringing up this famous quote? I’m so glad you asked….
We’ve all heard the phrase, “there’s strength (or safety) in numbers”. And regarding many aspects in life, I would have to agree that this is true. No one should ever walk in a dark alley by themselves at night. It’s always more fun to go to water parks in the blazing Summer heat with friends. And even the Bible says in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or more come together in my name, there I am with them”. However, what happens when we don’t gain any strength or value from numbers? You may be sitting there now wondering how this could even be possible. But it happens everyday.
Here’s a personal testimony that I’ll start off with. Anybody that follows my blog knows that Monday is my Music day. I like so many different kinds of music, that it’s often difficult to pick what I want to talk about. It’s easy to fall prey to the pressure of just talking about what’s popular in current music. Often times, my taste does match what’s hot right now, but many times it doesn’t. So you have two choices. Stay true to your own tastes or attempt to please the masses. But we all face much larger issues than this. The clothes you wear, your hair, the car your drive….are these all extensions of your own taste or are they extensions of what society believes is in good taste? Many times, there really is no growth in pleasing everyone because you never even get to know the real you. You can’t even expect anyone to respect you if you don’t know who you are.
Pleasing people only lasts for a moment, and as soon as their wants change, so does your importance in their lives. Some of the most successful people ever are those who march to the beat of their own drum. When you follow yourself, others are bound to follow you. You can’t lead and chase the desires of people at the same time. It’s like oil and water. They just don’t mix. Speaking of followers…there’s a pretty funny tweet that Oprah posted in response to a random tweeter who called her to the carpet on when she was going to give back to the community. Really? LOL. I actually thought that was hilarious. I couldn’t believe this person called her out on that. But she just politely responded with “when are u? I’ve put 500 (African-American) men thru college. And u sir?” Priceless. I believe she is a great example of when you give of yourself in unconventional or unpopular ways, it comes back tenfold.
So are you living life to the fullest for yourself or for those around you? Most times, we know the truth and we can recognize what our own motives are. Let’s hope that we’re giving the world our authentic selves instead of a carbon copy of pop culture.