Are We Setting Up Our Kids For Failure?

Well, my husband blogged about optimising for happiness, so I thought I’d keep up with him with these few words on a similar kind of subject. 🙂

I’ve often thought about the high expectations that parents and society have on kids.

Stuff like:

  • getting the best grades
  • getting a degree
  • getting a proper and well paying job
  • deciding on a defined career from an early age
  • buying a house

It kind of perplexes me a bit these days.  If people don’t achieve what they have set out to achieve then they feel like a failure.  I know I did for quite a while.

I wanted that degree. I wanted an important job.  The hurdles that I came across felt like I was destined to fail constantly.

  • I failed to love the academic world.
  • I failed to love the corporate world.
  • I failed to love the routine of working life.
  • I failed (for a while) to find my place in where I wanted to be.
  • I failed (for a while) to find that happiness that I was after.

In hindsight, I haven’t failed. Or I have, but I just call failures an ‘educational opportunity’.  However, I think I would have given myself an easier time if expectations of me (from myself, family and society) had just been a bit different.

Instead of setting goals for these ‘things’ (grades, degrees, etc) we should be setting goals for personal happiness and health.  There are too many of us out there who are just not happy with what we are doing with our lives.  We’ve been taught to strive for better things, but really we need to be striving for happiness and health.

Just imagine what we would all be doing if we all had a focused goal of being happy and healthy. Imagine how different the world would be today.

I’m working towards being happy and healthy, consistently.  It’s a good place to be.