Home Self Development Inspiration The dangers of living life to please others

The dangers of living life to please others

living life

We all live life and want to gain peoples recognition, respect and still retaining their approval. Most of the time we don’t pause to ask what we really want or what harm satisfying everybody does or is doing to us. Someone wisely said “I don’t know the way to success,but the way to failure is pleasing everybody”. There is little or no chance the possibility of pleasing everybody.

I’ll tell a short story of how pleasing everybody ruins our lives. I hope we all take a cue from it. Come with me;

Paul was a very ambitious lad from a family of five(5). At 12, upon completion of his primary education, he went into junior high school (or secondary school as it’s called in some places), He had dreams of going into real estate (he was that sharp for his age, he was what a lot will call precocious),he had plans too, he wanted to be a civil engineer, design buildings, roads, bridges et al. He cherished his dreams and would always fantasize and see himself in the light of what he’ll become. He was so promising you wouldn’t think for he can’t fail.

At 15,Paul was ready to go to senior high school, after completing his forms and submitted, he was admitted and required to choose a department to study, was it the Science, Commercial or Art sections of the school. Ordinarily, he should have just filled in “science” since that was what he wanted, but the school authority asked the students to take it home, show it to their parents and returned it the next day, this marked a new beginning for Paul.

Prior to now, his mum and dad had always joked one of their child would study banking and finance, having already produced an engineer and a lawyer. Paul had never taking them serious nor had he thought that would affect him, since he had two younger siblings. “No, you can’t be a civil engineer, we’ve echoed our love and desire for one of you to be a banker, and we mean study banking and finance not just working in a bank as a miss road(they we’re referring to people who are science oriented but found themselves in the bank in this instant). So we want you to be the one to study that, thank God you are pretty good in mathematics and you can keep details and facts well, we’ll give you all the support necessary” his parent retorted. Paul is one of those I’ll call weak willed. Those who cannot stand for what they want, who want to please everybody. Paul didn’t understand this is his life. His future which would be lived by him and no one else. Paul succumbed. He joined the class chose for him by his parents. He went into the commercial class. He struggled(of course because he wasn’t having fun with his studies) but he succeeded to graduate. It was surprising to many how he graduated with a 2.2 after such an amazing result which got him the admission.

His father pulled a couple of strings and after graduation he secured a job exactly 18 months later in a prestigious bank. Now their dream of having a banker in the family was fulfilled and complete. His woe of being a wrong person just started. He was employed into the loan department as one of the loan officers and at first he impressed and in six months he got a rare promotion. After one year, he got a call from home. “hello Paul, how are you, hope you are fine, (and there was exchange of pleasantries)…see, why I called is so simple the voice continued, I want to start a new business in Abuja, and as you know the country is so hard, and my competitors are opening branches there, so before they get all the customers I want to establish myself there too.” It was Paul’s dad. “I need a loan of 10million for an underground project, then later I might get more, you know I don’t have the collateral to present so you have to support your father and family, you cannot be in such a position and we will be in need of such help and not get it, he added”….WHAT!!! Paul exclaimed, How do I get that out for you? It’s too much and I don’t have the power for such yet, I’m only privileged to disburse 5million, that’s the maximum I can do for now, Paul replied….You have to find a way to help us, his father cut in, my friends children do it for their families and that is why I made sure you got into that bank, his father added.

Paul got a way to force the fund out, and that was the beginning of another era where he’ll release loan to his parents and siblings on several occasions. A colleague got to know somehow and he got involved in this fraudulent act too. After one year, the colleague requested Paul join him to raise 98 million to import some cars, Paul’s refusal prompted the friend to meet Paul’s parent who finally convinced Paul after he promised Paul’s Dad 1 million compensation. Paul signed the cheque, and the importing process was finalized. 2 months,3,4,5,the cars didn’t arrive. Paul’s friend had been defrauded. The bank want their money back, Paul’s friend could not stand it so he immediately indicted Paul and his his parents and he revealed previous dirty deals and Paul found himself in police net. He is currently in the kiri-kiri maximum prison still awaiting trial after two years.(Kiri-Kiri is one of the most secured prisons in Nigeria)

My friend, you cannot satisfy everybody, be it your parents, religious leaders, friends and these days your spouse too. The world is plagued with selfishness. Everybody is selfish, you, me, all of us. Nobody loves his neighbor more than himself. Our love all have limitations and that’s where our selfishness begins. Your parents loves you, wants you to progress so that you can take care of them in old age. Your teacher wants you to do well so people would call HIM a GOOD TEACHER. Your pastor preaches to you not just because he loves you but because “the love of Christ COMPELS him (2nd cor. 5vs 14). You married not only for the love, but because of the financial burden that would be eased,  satisfaction among others( be truthful to yourself on this) a lot of married friends have confessed this to me.

Do not forgo your joy for someone else’s. You deserve to be happy and lead a life you can be proud of. Nobody should talk you into what you do not want. If you are being forced to study a course you don’t love make a move to correct it, don’t marry one you don’t love, don’t pick a job that won’t make you express yourself or be happy. Speak out. Don’t die in silence. Depression kills. Your joy should be top on your agenda. Do not let anything jeopardize your tomorrow or your joy tomorrow. You deserve the best and the best you should get. Nothing less.

Over to you. What do you think Of Paul, what did he do wrongly? What would you have done if you were in his shoes? Do you know any staff who have once defrauded a bank? Are you strong or weak willed? Share whatever your answers are and more using the comment section below.


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  1. Being weak willed is one problem I myself have had to deal with I must confess, given to my temperament, you will agree with me that it’s never wrong to people, especially those you consider your mentors, but then everything has got it’s limits and Paul went beyond that limit. Never please people so much that you displease your self. Only God enjoys that privilege

  2. Hi Bisco
    Great story,this happens to the best of us.It’s the temptation to want to prove a point to the people we love that we can be what they think we’re.Paul fell for it and that sent his life down that spiral path.Following our hearts calling is the key to a fulfilling life.Nice story.

    • Thanks Tobi, We always make that mistake of pleasing others, expecially those who have shown us one favour or the other, when we understand risks, then we should make corrections. Thanks for checking this out, and commenting- I hope to have you around more.

  3. Hi Bisco

    Great story and it is so sad but we all can relate to this in our world. I guess you have said all. You can’t please anyone but it is sad to displease yourself. Saying No does no harm . Thanks for sharing and have an awesome week.

  4. This is a beautiful post I stumbled upon while searching for Personal Development blogs like mine.
    And a very relevant topic too
    Sometimes we have to learn how to put oursleves first instead of succumbing continually to pleasing others at a detriment of ourselves.
    It’s hard but the day a man realizes he needs not be bothered about the opinions of others, he has grasped at freedom.
    Great work


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