Many a times, we consciously or unconsciously live our lives simply to fit some other person(s) plans and agendas. I have a burden to talk about this because, I have seen loved ones and even people generally, wasting valuable time, delaying important life decisions, trying hard to make other people’s dreams and wishes come true while neglecting theirs.
Is it wrong to help others achieve their dreams? Of course, it’s not. Is it wrong to be part of people’s plans to actualize their goals and wishes, absolutely not! But when you pause your life, waste quality time, delay major decisions simply to accommodate some other person’s or organization’s selfish/unselfish plans at your own peril, it becomes an issue.
There is this story of a lady who had planned to practice Medicine in the United States after college in Africa. She made up her mind to visit the U.S. and write her professional exams once she completes her house job. Somewhere along the line, she met a young man who lives in the U.S and didn’t mind starting a relationship with her. She immediately started working towards coming over to the U.S to write her exams. In a little while things didn’t go well between them as planned, they parted ways amicably. Gladly, her plan to come to the U.S. was still on, so she wasn’t losing any ways.
Soon after, she met a doctor back in Africa, who was already a consultant and doing fantastically well, but he didn’t seem interested in the U.S. plan she had. So, to fit in properly into his agenda, the lady began to change her plans of many years to practice outside the country. She began studying for her primaries back in her country instead. Her dreams to practice as a medical doctor in the U.S. at that point was terminated because she met someone living out “his own dreams”.
She must have thought, “what good will it be to go to the U.S. when the one I plan to spend my life with is already a full time consultant in Africa? He has also constantly reminded me that he won’t be leaving Africa to practice for any reason”. About a year down the line the whole relationship ended, oh yes, that was it. The guy, whom she had known so well, whom she was building and changing her life plans around, just went off the radar and never called again. After about three years of running in a circle, this lady decided to focus on living her own life regardless of what the people in her life wanted.
Have you ever decided to stay back in a company just because of your boss or some other person(s)? You forfeit better opportunities simply because you had thought “with this man/woman by my side, my career can only get better in this organization? And instead of pressing towards greater opportunities elsewhere, you stay put? Suddenly, the unbelievable happens! That man or woman resigns to live their own dreams! And you are heart and career broken…. left to suffer the outcome of your decisions alone.
Here is my personal experience as regards this discussion. Two of my husband’s friends who had laughed at his idea of getting married almost immediately after their masters in the United Kingdom saying “it’s too early man, there’s still more to be done before marriage, don’t get tied down so quickly” Guess what? One of them got married before us. This is within a space of about seven months. Someone else tied him down so quickly before I “tied down” his friend. LOL! Imagine, if my husband had thought, “I need to actually slow down”? How would it have felt hearing that the same people who laughed at your plans/decisions went ahead to do the exact same thing?
Does this mean people who do these things are bad? No. The lesson to learn here is that, you should carve your path, nurture your dreams and live your life the way you purpose in your heart to live it and most importantly as God leads and requires you to; not based on what other people’s lives try to dictate to you directly or indirectly. Make your plans, dream your dreams and launch them regardless , don’t restructure your life disadvantageously to accommodate someone whose achievement is not sure to help attain yours.
Your only concern should be what God says about the step you are about to take. I understand perfectly that this gets dicey when it involves two people who are legally married, even at that, do it with wisdom. I understand that sometimes we have to make sacrifices for family and the ones we hold dear, it still needs to be done with wisdom. Ever heard??? “So then, EACH of us will give an account of ourselves to God”- Romans 14:12 So it’s really about you as an individual not as a pair or a group.
I can go on and on with examples but I know we can already begin to identify areas where we have left valuable dreams, longtime desires, wishes, plans, callings, visions simply because we are trying hard to build our lives around certain people, organizations and events.
I believe opportunities can be lost; we can waste precious years trying to live out other people’s dreams while neglecting ours. The only consolation especially when we have realized our mistakes and short sightedness is that God always has a way of making our experiences work together for our good, if we believe.
This piece is dedicated to everyone out there who paused, postponed, delayed, hastened or forfeited a life aspiration for the sake of a “loved one” and the outcome was not worth the sacrifice.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose-Romans 8:28