Life Is Too Short To Live Someone Else's Plans

Life Is Too Short To Live Someone Else's Plans
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 February, 2022

They say life is short, it passes in one breath and when we realize it, we are living more than the memories of what happens around us.

And the truth is that more than fearing the transience of our existence, what really scares us are not our mistakes or our falls, or even the few times we’ve gotten lost along the way. What terrifies us is a life unlived, or even more, having let our days be adjusted to the plans and dreams of other people.

I’m not in this world to meet the expectations of anyone, nor are you here to meet mine. We are two people who have collided in a wonderful encounter and who, together, build a common path stringing together life,  harmonizing dreams, plans and goals.

Sometimes, it takes us a while  to realize that the life we live does not make us happy. At first we get carried away, perhaps for love, perhaps for the hopes and dreams that gradually become unstrung as lies. For something that was once promised and was never fulfilled.

There are many ways in which our life rusts while alongside other people. Sometimes it is family, other times it is our partners… Whoever they are, it is something we should not allow.

Because few things are so personal and distinctive as the true way in which we wish to live our lives. And no one should put it in a mold or on puppet strings and take it their own direction.

If you live the life of others, you stop being yourself

woman with white cranes planning her life

You are your values, your dreams of yesterday and desires of the present. You are your choices, your illusions in the morning and your sorrows in the afternoon. You are what you’ve accomplished and what still remains to be achieved… How then can you allow others to fade your identity and put on your shoes without your permission?

You can lose your pride for love, you can put aside your dreams for someone else’s dream if you wish, but what you must never allow is for your dignity to be lost to anyone.

It is necessary to travel on this road called life in the simplest way possible: freely, without any weight in your heart and without noise in your mind.

Do not be afraid of life. You have to enjoy it with joy and fulfillment. If when you open your eyes in the morning you seem flustered by a host of negative emotions, it perhaps because you are not living the life you want. Maybe you’re on a stage that others have created for you.


When your day is scheduled around the personal universe of another person

Some people assume the managing role in a relationship without really knowing why. The other person, cannot do anything more than just spin around them a satellite that spins around a planet.

And this is the beginning of love, because we establish certain hopes and because for a time, we are unable to see the details that build a less functional reality.

Some people need to have control the same way someone fears that with even the slightest movement will cause their house of cards to collapse. The obsessive need for control actually hides low self-esteem which develops into authoritarianism and inflexibility. Respecting the will of others and their personal space causes them to run the risk of losing that person.

Being the one who dictates the decisions, who chooses, who assumes, accepts or rejects often, reinforces a low self-esteem and that they are unable to reciprocate toward others.

woman with mask in her hand

A full, authentic and happy life does not seek prisoners: no one belongs to anybody

This is not about maintaining a detached life without ties, without significant relationships and no one by our side. It is about us being aware that we should not consider anyone to be our property. No one belongs to anyone.

No one should own happiness, because happiness is not possessed, it is created as the breeze is created in the summer afternoons or like the coral in the ocean. Happiness is a treasure that should not stop at the selfish whim of others.

Since I do not belong to you and you do not belong to me, I choose to freely walk holding your hand. For we are both architects and creators of our own happiness.

Since I am aware that we are all born free and have full right to choose our way of life, I respect your choices, your values and your way of thinking.

And so, I strive every day to join my personal space with the common space we both share.

I release myself from that life that others have created for me

There are times when family contexts, possessive mothers or fathers, also contribute to us living a life that others create for us. Emotional and marital relations are, moreover, those common territories where they are given these kind of dependencies and vital constraints.

To live a happy and fulfilling life, we should not “bind ourselves” to one or more people. It is better to anchor ourselves to a goal: happiness. Because it is this objective that allows us to determine who deserves us and who does not. And the person that makes you suffer does not.

Life is not dreamed nor does it wait by a window while others dictate to us what to do and what not to do. Life is a risk, life happens beyond our comfort zone and the chains that others impose on us.

woman holding a heart-shaped balloon



Images courtesy Pascal Campion, Anna Dittman, Gaelle Boissonard

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.