As we progress along our paths, we are allowed to choose among things we’re required to do, obligated to do, truly want to do, and the things we do solely because of the expectations of others.
Doing something simply because someone expects you to and not because you are required, obligated, or desire to do it drains you of will and purpose. It is also one of the most difficult conditionings to overcome.
I’ve seen the quote (I’m paraphrasing) floating around: “Why would you allow your self-esteem to be controlled by complete strangers?” In that same light, why would you make choices that might not be in alignment with your hopes, your dreams, and your values, simply because those choices might be disappointing to someone whose sole claim over you is the expectation you should do what they think you should do whether or not you want to do it?
This is more than a rhetorical question for me. I expect to lead by example, and make choices I believe in deeply, which I also expect to be disappointing to a number of people purely because they themselves would not choose the same. I have no expectations for anyone to follow my example in the exact same way, but hope that it might help someone else to decide that their own path does have value – even if no one else might be able to see it.
That is both the price that is required, and the reward that is bestowed upon anyone who exercises their ability to choose to live the life they truly desire – openly, honestly, and unafraid.