If you were born in the 1990-2000s, you missed the last decade of what ‘being a kid’ was supposed to be. Playing outside, no cell phones, no internet, neighborhood hangouts/bbqs, and Billy Joel. Sorry you missed out. What you didn’t miss out on was the worse advise given to the 70s-80s kids:
“Follow your passion!”
“You can do anything! You can be whomever you want to be!”
The younger generation today is guided by the principles of hustle and grind, social media, and internet fame.
Unfortunate from 2019 study:
I’m not quite sure if the hustle mentality is better.
Why So Serious?
“Following your passion” is terrible advice. The context is work.
How about, “Become competent and capable in your work.” – This is your work. This is your job. If it’s at the office or at home.
- Being capable and proficient in a job function will always have demand.
- Being capable and proficient in work will always increase possibilities, open doors, and new relationships.
- Homemaker? – Make the home a home of peace. Do it well.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had passions (feelings) change over time. Jumping all over the place in any endeavor does not make one proficient or sophisticated.
Allow passion to be passion. If it aligns with your work, amazing. If it doesn’t, you still have your work. The stoics would suggest we rely much less on passion anyway. Our reasoned choice is all that matters.
Can I Be Anything I Want?
Can I do anything in the world? No. That’s terrible advice.
Should you aspire for excellence in a good life well lived? Absolutely. Where you are today is a full culmination of all of your life decisions, good and bad. We are where we are, whether we decided ourselves, or how we chose to respond when we didn’t get the choice. All of these actions add up to you, today.
If we look at the data-set of human capabilities, opportunities for being #1 in the world in all measurable categories, and consider the world population, we find that the chances of anyone you know being the top in anything is proportionally impossible. Frankly, it’s a statistical improbability that you’re even related to anyone that is rank 1 in something. Add in the amount of actual life and hard work put into that endeavor to become the top… and we quickly realize that in many cases, you actually don’t want to emulate the top performers in any category.
What have they sacrificed? Relationships, kids, marriage… need I go on? Their work ethic and imbalance of ‘work-life’ is not something to be emulated. I could extrapolate on this, but I want to keep it short.
Better advice would have been: “Find the characteristics necessary for a successful life, in work, play, and relationships.” – Where “success” is defined as a progressive realization of a worthy goal.
I have worthy goals:
- Spending 90% of my time at work using my best skills and capabilities. (Lucky for me I enjoy so much of the business-building process that I get to do this most of the time! Like writing bloggy-newsletters like this)! 🙂
- Having amazing fun with my family in sports and life.
- Have a healthy and peaceful home.
I hope I’m getting better at progressively realizing my goals over the course of my life. I find better work patterns, behaviors patterns, and models to improve each aspect of these goals. I’m being sanctified in my efforts all along the way.
Keep searching for better ways to improve aspects of your life. They are there! Even focusing on one tiny aspect of ones life can have tremendous effects to the whole. It’s complex systems after all. It’s all, we’re all, interconnected.
All the best,