Should We Be Checking Off Other’s Life Checklists, Or Writing Our Own?

Has anyone else noticed the dozens of life checklists trending on different forms of social media lately? As if, we absolutely cannot do anything without hearing it from a random source on the internet first anymore. We cannot live our lives to the fullest until someone on Facebook says, “Get outside. Go see something…” Not until we’ve read the “25 Signs You’re Succeeding At Life (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It)” do we actually realize – hey, life is tough. I probably should take a break and reward myself for the things I accomplish.

Well, even if you hadn’t noticed that these lists are trending, they are… And the previously mentioned article, “25 Signs You’re Succeeding At Life (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It),” written by Shannon Kaiser is one of them. One that we, Optimum RTS, actually “shared” to our Facebook page; and who would have thunk it, it got some serious action.

So, what’s going on with you people? Why do we need to be reminded by complete strangers how to just, live, and be happy while doing so. Has life gotten that stressful for the lot of us that we’ve honestly forgotten how to recognize when we’ve actually done something we should be proud of?

It’s very easy to fall into bad habits, and self deprecation is certainly a bad habit. Exploring Kaiser’s article, I have a strong hankering to jump into the computer and tell the reader’s of this article that these twenty five things are all simple facts of life we should have all realized way back when.

Take for example number seven, “You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.” I know self confidence is a hot topic, but moments? Confidence is a major factor in your success – not only your long term employment success, but your life successes as well (travel experiences, marriages, children, volunteerism, you name it…).

It’s not my place to say where anyone should get their inspiration from, and maybe articles like these are really helping people become who they’ve always wanted to be and tackle problems they never thought they’d be able to face… But, and there’s always a but, isn’t there? But, it is my very strong belief that articles like these are just another reason why we have such major issues as a population.

We spend so much time caring about what other people think or say or tell us what to do, who to be, how to live, that we end up either following them blindly or losing control of what to believe and sight of how to reach our end goals – if we even have any that we’re passionate about anymore.

Number fifteen, “You stopped caring about what others think of you.” Does the article, or even other viral articles like it, not make you think, “People would like me more if I acted these twenty five ways” or even “I might be a better person if I live my life by these twenty five commands, and therefore might be more likeable all around”?

Maybe it doesn’t. As you can probably tell, it had the opposite effect on me.

What I’m trying to prove by depicting Kaiser’s article, and hers is just one example out of many that the public is reading with wide eyes, is that things work out for the best when you pave your own path. Find real life mentors and heed their advice cautiously; because, in the end, it will always and only be your life, and what is a life lived behind a computer dreaming of the day when you can get up and have a single moment where you appreciate who you see in the mirror?

If I can say one good thing about these viral life checklist articles, it is this… The main point around all of them is to learn how to cope with the negative factors of today’s society, anxiety, expectations, and learn how to truly enjoy life. It is extremely important that we as a people do so. Happiness is the door we must all unlock, but we each have our own key.


Written by: Melanie Scherr

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