"I cannot give you the sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody all the time." -Herbert Bayard Swope
This history behind the quote (just because I need to assure you and myself that he was at least educated :) ):
Herbert Bayard Swope was a Pulitzer Prize winner for reporting. He was the American reporter who invented the op-ed piece which took the fact out of a page of the news and added some enlightening opinion.
This quote is probably one of my favorites on so many levels but mainly because of the absolute truth in it! Everyone wants to be successful and refuses failure as an option, but the mute point usually is the reason behind the failure. Success is vague. Success is determined by the eye of the beholder. Some deem small things a success and others wait for the big break to feel fulfilled. Because of the ambiguity of success, determining a universal means to reach it, is almost impossible. However, across the board, certainty exists in the fact that trying to please everyone else all the time deters you from your success.
I have been presented with this theory in life time and time again. My character flaws are many, but this one creates the most annoyance for me. I ultimately desire to rid myself of the need for acceptance that looms over me. If I could go through the day thinking of only myself and the happiness I create for me, I would be a much happier... Perplexing, I know. The happiness I intend to gain by making others happy could be properly attained if I would only worry about making myself happy. Hmmm... a nice thought; unfortunately, my mind is not trained this way. My mind is trained to think about other people all the time. To put it mildly with uneducated vocabulary : IT SUCKS!
I find myself sweating bullets when I'm driving and someone behind me is driving rather closely to my bumper not because I am irritated that if I slammed on my breaks this guy would be in my front seat, but conversely because I am worried that this "John Doe" is angry with me that I am in his way and going too slowly! RIDICULOUS! Pretty frequently I am found in these awkward situations with similar emotions running through my head. As a side note: Please realize that some people in your life are Bi-polar and do not know from minute to minute what makes them happy let alone what you can do to make them happy. Take it as a loss. You cannot please these people. They are toxic!
The fact of the matter is everyone, whether it be a friend, family member, or complete stranger, has an expectation of you. But why? One must assume that they are attempting to fulfill some kind of desire for themself through this expectation of you. (Because I mean let's face it : Most people are out for themselves and don't share this same desire for world happiness as you do). Because of this assumption, it is safe to say that they will gain something through their expectation of you. Otherwise, they wouldn't care enough to have that expectation to begin with!
In the end though, you are the one stuck trying to make a group of people happy who may share different views and ideas of what is the appropriate action for you. After reading the quote, you can see that it's not the act of trying to please people in general that leads to failure, it's the act of trying to please people (notice the plural) all of the time. It cannot be done. It will lead to your demise and more importantly to the failure of your goals and thus to your unsuccessfullness.
You possess ownership of your success. It is yours and you are the only person that can get you there. Thus ensuring your own happiness is the tried and true way for you to reach your successes in life. And if you find that there are a BUNCH of people who are disapproving...ask the one whose opinion really matters and pray on it. You control your destiny but He has already written it!
Make yourself happy today! :)