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The price to pay

. 7 min read .

Growth, creativity, autheniticity, ambition, curiosity, morality. Theres always a price to pay. The question is: do you think it is worth it?

Jenny Yu

The price of ever-ending personal growth.

You keep reinventing yourself. After a point you end up being a Ferrari in a highway of Toyotas. You have no choice but to embark on a solitary path. You cannot press the breaks and wait for the rest.

While you will be able to connect with people on a surface level, it becomes increasingly hard to find people you can connect with in depth because your depth is way lower than most. Inevitably, you will have a hard time building strong friendships, relationships that feel meaningful and finding a significant other that is significant enough. You will feel more and more like nobody can ever get to know you.

The price of being true to yourself.

When you tap into your essence, when you really get to build self-awareness and start following it, you will inevitably start moving further and further away from the herd, eventually escaping it and becoming a lone wolf. The herd conforms. They manoeuvre themselves to fit in with the crowd. You are not like that.

The more we deconstruct this self, the further away we move from other people; other selves. This is because the self is a social construct — it’s born at the intersection of our relationships to our cultures, our tribes, our families, and other spatial and temporal affiliations that constrain and condition us at each and every moment of our lives. And the more internal problems we solve, the further away from this conditioning we get, and the further away from other people we get, and the more alone we feel on the path ahead of us. — Zat Rana, The Meaning Paradox

By being different you inevitably get resistance. Societal equilibrium will try to pull you back in place. You are tagged as ‘weird’ but little do they know… It takes a strong person to resist that pull, we all want to be accepted and feel a sense of belonging by nature. Being true to one’s self means resisting that, pressing on the pedal and leaving the heard behind.

Jenny Yu

The price of being more peaceful.

You are grounded. The highs and the lows are dampened down. You never allow yourself to get too sad but at the same time you rarely get too excited and enthusiastic like you probably used to.

The price of being grounded.

Your head is not in the clouds. You can dream but with a helthy dose of realism. You can be an optimist but with sprinkles of pessimism. You might find big dreamers and visionaries romantic and naive.

The price of awareness.

You are tuned into the frequency of the world. You spent enough time studying many points of view and can now see reality as it is instead of a the distorted versions you are fed. You can see things people don’t see, you can read in between the lines, you understand people’s motives and how our brains are you can notice the flaws of the human condition, the injustice, the missed opportunities, the misfortunes, the wasted potential, the suffering, the loss. The result is melancholy; which it not the same as sadness. Melancholy is a tender, wise, mature version of sadness. Simply, it is the realisation that life is hard, complex and messy.
You are not only aware of external factors, you are also very self-aware. You are more impulsive and spontaneous than most because you are so atuned to what you feel, need and want. Being wide awake often makes it hard to follow plans and routines.

The price of intelligence & intellect.

You will need complexity, challenge and increased levels of difficulty in order for your mind to get stimulated. The lack of mental stimulation will bore you and demotivate you. Books, art, lectures, projects, discussions become your source of energy and oxygen.

You will not only need to be surrounded by smart people but you will have a hard time communicating with people that are in a different intellectual level because you will find it frustrating and have a hard time empathising with them. “Common sense is not a gift, it is a punishment, because then you will have to deal with everybody else that doesn’t have it.”. Or so they say.

Jenny Yu

The price of ambition.

You expect a lot from yourself. You want to conquer the world. You have a fire in your belly to go above and beyond. Sometimes you think it is a necessary sacrifice for a better future, but often what once seemed temporary becomes routine.

Ambition drives you to work harder, often making you obsess about one area of your life and pushing the rest aside: health, connection, hobbies etc.. Aiming high is great but defining your self worth and mental wellbeing on that is a dangerous game to play. Ambition is somewhat correlated with chasing something that few have. And that is by definition difficult — or everybody would have had it-. And so if you put all your chips there, you are bound for disappointement.

The price of being vulnerable.

Connecting requires vulnerability. It requires that you open up and allow true bonds to form between yourself and the other person. Opening up is the same thing as ‘letting your guard down’. You are now vulnerable and willing to take some bullets that will go straight to your heart. Being hurt will hurt double as much but you know that the joy and depth of connection will reach new levels of flourishing and that is what makes it worth it.

At the same time society is not mature enough to understand that vulnerability is a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness. You might be expressing your true self by being vulnerable, you might think that you are giving a gift to the other party, but often times this leads to misjudgement of you being weak, sensitive or fragile.

Jenny Yu

The price of being curious.

Your attention jumps from one thing to other and you end up relentlessly chasing your curiosity around.
If you are curious, you get bored more easily because even if your work is engaging, there is always something more interesting out there that peaks your curiosity. A more interesting project, a more interesting restaurant to try, a more insteresting skill to learn, a more interesting article to read. You find novelty charming and exciting instead of scary.

You end up not completing projects you started. You sometimes tend to consume more than you create. You will also possibly find it hard to devote yourself to a subject and go in depth; isolating all the other stimulations from your surroundings. Your mind is extremely inquisive and with that, it never shuts up. You have to get used to the constant chatter or exercise so that you calm it down on command.

The price of being creative.

Coming up with ideas and concepts is not a problem for you but knowing which ideas to pursuit is where you might have a problem.
You are always able to come up with the next shiny thing and this novelty charms you. The more creative, the better, you might say.

After creativity, comes execution. And this calm after the storm is not a fun place for an adventurous sailor like yourself that probably enjoys the ideation process much more than execution.

The price of having strong moral principles.

People who do not adhere to them are people you avoid interacting with. You categorise them in the ‘bad bucket’ quickly. Often times you miscategorise people as bad when their moral downfalls can be attributed to subcoscious biases and blindspots that they inherited as a result of their upbringing or enviroment. You refuse to follow the heard if something violates those principles. This often casts you out, often characterised as not loyal or too sensitive.

Jenny Yu

The price of having ‘high standards’.

You are rarely satisfied. Your ‘good taste’ has up-ed the level at which something is ‘good enough’. You have experienced how good food tastes, how an amazing sunset looks, how engaging that chat was, how loving that parter used to be, how exciting that job was, how high ethical standards look, how great collaboration feels like. You know how good it can be. You will always compare what you have with that high standard and rarely will it meet your expectations and even more rarely, exceed them. Situations tend to disappoint you and people let you down.

The price of confidence

It can easily turn into cockiness and narcisism at times. It can push you to judge people and situations. You might even believe you have full control over your future . But control is an illusion and luck is a real phenomenon you fail to account for and thus often you are in for a let down that you often attribute on yourself since you believe you are in control of happens to you.

You brush off applause and compliments much faster. The high you used to get is not as much. You know your worth, you do not need other people’s approval.

Price of being part of a community.

Being part of a tribe puts you in some sort of filter bubble in which everybody tends to share very similar values, beliefs, biases, codes of conduct, principles and ideals. Those eventually get assimilated into you without even realising. If you are not actively evaluating and picking and choosing which ones to adopt, they tend to subconsciously become the norm.

The price of freedom.

You have nobody but yourself to blaim. You are all on your own. People say they want to be free but most of us cannot handle that. Most need some sort of healthy boundaries to flourish.

Theres always a price to pay for the best life has to offer, the question is, do you think it is worth it?