“A man must love his father and yet be free of his father’s expectations and criticisms in order to be a free man.”
— David Deida
Your Biggest Influence
As a first-generation immigrant, I’m highly influenced by my parents. Growing up in a rural village in China with a small rice field with no running water, I experienced poverty.
Although my family didn’t have much, we always had food on the table when we were hungry. Not having electricity during the evenings, we used candles as a way to bring light into our world.
Ignorant of external luxuries in first world countries, I was happy because I had everything I ever needed.
Growing up, my dad worked a lot to bring money home while my mom stayed home to take care of the family. Witnessing the hard work that my parents carried out every day, I became motivated to follow similar footsteps.
In return, I studied hard in school to get good grades in efforts to get into a prestigious college so I can make a great income to provide for my family. Oblivious at the time, I was greatly influenced by my parents, teachers, friends, and society – what I saw on the television.
By far, my biggest influence was my parents because I would see them almost every day.
Everything I did up to my early 20s was because of their “invisible” influence of beliefs and morals. After truly becoming independent, I weakened my parents’ lifelong influences as I strategically chose my influences.
With more time, I was able to replace their belief system with my own by learning through trial and error. As I later discovered, I wasn’t living a life true to me. Instead, I was living my parents’ dream.
For me to completely break free from their expectations and start embracing my truth, I had to imagine my parents were dead.
Sadness came rushing through my entire body, but in the midst of the overwhelming sorrow, I felt a faint beat of freedom and liberation. In my deep core, I gained a sense of exhilaration because I can now choose whatever I want to do with my life.
I asked myself the following questions:
“Now that my parents are dead, what’s my “why” for existence?”
“How will I live the rest of my life?”
“What do I truly want in life”
After going through that mental exercise, I broke the lifelong shackles my parents’ and society’s had placed on me.
That’s when I started truly living.
Unpeeling my “purpose” one layer at a time, I lived with more intent and drive towards my dream life – to become my best so I can help others becomes theirs.
Select the “Right” Influences for You
Your environment influences and dictates your life. They range from the people you work with to the television shows you watch.
For example, take the people you spend the most time with.
Who are they?
Whether you realize it or not, eventually what they believe and do will rub off on you through osmosis.
Think of it in terms of equilibrium.
Imagine you’re at room temperature (60 degrees Fahrenheit) and you get into a sauna that’s about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer you sit in the hot room, the warmer you will get. And eventually, you’ll be at the same temperature as the sauna.
This is exactly what’s happening to you when you spend time with others.
You naturally cultivate their beliefs, behaviors, and patterns and vice versa. This can either work or against you.
Are you strategically selecting your environment to serve in your favor?
Don’t underestimate the impact that your influences can have on your life.
If you want to create a healthy lifestyle, don’t constantly surround yourself with people who want to drink alcohol every night.
This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate them from your life. You can still hang out with them on a sparing basis so that it doesn’t interfere with your goals.
However, if it comes to a point your friends become obnoxious and unsupportive, you must make a conscious decision between your goal and your friendship.
The truth is this:
You can’t change others unless they also want that for themselves.
But you can always change the people around you by spending your time with different people who are aligned with your core values.
Live Your Deepest Truth
What is it you truly want in life?
What beliefs and people are holding you back from achieving what you want?
What roles do your parents or early caretakers play in the life you’re currently living?
Contemplate on those questions and write down anything that comes to mind.
Because they were your biggest influences when you were growing up, it’s nearly impossible not to have a similar belief system as they do, especially that of your parents.
Now imagine your biggest childhood influences are no longer alive, how will you live differently?
Without having to fulfill their expectations, would you still keep doing what you’re doing now?
Be brutally honest with yourself.
When you truly live for yourself, you won’t have anyone to disappoint. You’re free from carrying on your parents’ and anyone else’s dream.
You have the free will to choose how you want to live your life, will you take complete advantage of it?
Discover your deepest purpose through trial and error by first delving into what your current and intuitive purpose is. Follow your curiosities, passions, and even fears. Fully commit to that purpose until it no longer serves you.
Signs of moving on to a deeper purpose include disinterest, lack of energy, and unfulfillment in your current mission. As that outer purpose fades, you must continue to unpeel each layer of lesser purpose to find your true purpose – your core desire in life.
Continue to pursue your deepest purpose.
After embodying it, you will be fully awakened living life with more intention as all the distraction and external noises fade away because you’re focused on what’s most important to you, living your deepest truth.
Your fear of missing out goes away because you’re no longer concerned about meaningless activities that don’t serve you. Living and creating meaningful experiences, you’re no longer interested in wasting time and living vicariously through others by watching television, movies, or social media.
Your biggest influences in life are your parents because you spent the majority of your time with them while growing up. Certain degrees of their beliefs, behaviors, and morals have transported to you through osmosis.
Despite the deep transplant, you can still counteract it by creating a belief system that’s true to you.
Start by surrounding yourself with people who you want to become. Then take deliberate steps to be more like them. Take what you admire from them and make it uniquely yours.
Soon you’ll become a person with traits and qualities you’ve always wanted. Remain humble and continue to learn because you’re forever a student of life.
Discover your deepest purpose and truth by fully exploring your current curiosity, passions, and fears.
Let it be your guide and step up to the challenge.
Realize this isn’t your practice life, so use it wisely. You’re no longer bound by anyone’s expectations but yours.
“How do I want to live it?”
I am on a mission to help 1,000,000 people, but I can’t do that without your help. Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful. Thank you very much! I greatly appreciate it!
Do you want to live purposefully and become the most powerful version of yourself? If so, start with your free gift down below.