Monday, May 9, 2011
I Want It All: the mantra of a generation
Ask me as a child what I wanted from life, and I would have said 'everything'. Ask me as a teenager and I would have been a little more specific: 'career, travel and settle down later on'. Ask me in my early twenties and I would have laid it all out: 'career, money, travel, house, marriage, children'.
My mantra was I Want It All.
Our grandparents didn't have any option - the men worked and were happy to have a stable job, and the women stayed home and raised the kids. Our parents didn't just change those rules, they burnt the rule book and threw a party to celebrate.
Our parents taught us to want more, to expect more. They told us we could have everything, and they showed us how possible it was.
I have a problem with this mantra though. In every aspect of life, we're taught something entirely different. Look in a toy store and you're told you can choose one thing - you can't have everything. Get a job and you know you can't be the worker AND the boss AND the best friend to all AND work in all departments - you need to choose which field you work in. Play a game and you know you can't be the dealer AND the banker AND a player AND all the other roles.
Then we come to life in general. In a small game, we can't be everything - we all know that. In the mini-life that is an office or a business we know that. But in the biggest game of all - life - we're taught to want it all, to be it all.
It makes no sense. It's impossible, yet we exhaust ourselves trying.
What I want to teach my daughter is this:
♥ Set your sights on some things, do them, and do them well.
♥ Aim high in those things you choose to do.
♥ Work hard to achieve them.
♥ Sometimes it won't work out, and that's okay; it was worth a shot.
♥ Learn from that and set your sights on something else.
♥ And, most important of all, you don't have to be everything to be a success in life.
Posted at 7:10 AM