If an action or utterance is appropriate, then it’s appropriate for you. Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism. If it’s right to say or do it, then it’s the right thing for you to do or say. The others obey their own lead, follow their own impulses. Don’t be distracted. Keep walking. Follow your own nature, and follow Nature—along the road they share.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.3

My wife and I do our best to encourage those things that our daughter is naturally drawn to do. She enjoys drawing, painting, and tons of other creative endeavors.

So we do whatever we can to encourage her in those pursuits. Personally, I spent too much of my own life trying to do whatever I thought others wanted of me, doing my best to fulfill someone else’s vision of what my life should be.

I’m still battling those demons on a daily basis. Sometimes they win. But those wins come far less often now.

Too often, we find ourselves at the mercy of what others expect from us. I’m not talking about the expectations all of us have for our respective careers. Those expectations have everything to do with the work we do but not the life we live.

Your expectations for your life should be yours and yours alone. Stop letting anyone and everyone decide what should matter to you and discover for yourself what matters.

Each of us has our own nature. Each of us has a destiny to fulfill. Don’t let anyone determine yours.

Chase the life you were born for, no one else can live it.