I’m a keen tennis player (bet you didn’t know that). I’ve played for years starting from a very young age just as parents are coming up with their fantastic idea about my child being better than other children, therefore we must educate him more on a subject of our choosing so others can also know how good my child is. Maybe it’s a lil’ bit buyest, but we can’t really deny this dynamic. Parents tend to think their child is the best, and there is nothing really wrong with that. It’s a lovely thought, just as believing in Santa or in your favourite politician.
There was a story in the beginning of this century about this soccer player named Robinho, who was (in the eyes of Pele) going to be the next best player the world has ever seen, even claiming him to be his very own successor who will carry of the torch and be a an icon not just in Brazil, but in the entire world. Needless to say, all that hype ended up destroying the guy, all those expectations creating tremendous amounts of pressure. Oh, how did the story end? Robinho got a few career-destroying injuries and voila’.
Done. Finito. And on top of that – rape accusations, prison, gangs, favela. How’s that for your future prodigy?
Any sort of expectations in most cases only hurt both parties and make your life miserable, since we put too much emphasis on what we are unable to control entirely. There will always be an element of surprise in everything and having the belief that we are able to control the outcome will simply be our own demise.
Just as we are unable to control the career of our favourite soccer player, we are unable to control the career of our child, heck, even our own. Since the element of surprise will always be there in one way or another, it’s pointless to assume that we can change the outcome of our actions entirely.
So what are these things that we really can’t control and should just let go of the outcome all together? Well, mostly everything. Really.
Your child’s career path.
Your daughter’s boyfriends.
The success of your newly written book.
Maintenance cost of your car (yes, even Toyota)
These are the things about which it’s smart to not get worked up over or you’ll be counterintuitive. Being counterintuitive will take away your energy just as playing video games all day and ending up too tired to work on things that truly matter to you.
Will your child be a success or a failure? Will she be a professional tennis player or a pencil pusher, or maybe she’ll end up in a band with a heavy drinking problem and a loose sex life? Who cares. She’s got her own life ahead of herself, her own choices to make, her own life to screw up or build up. Thinking you can control other people, especially your own kids will end up in resentment, broken hearts and long distance phone calls every christmas (or every other).
What can you do though?
You can move to a country with an average pay more suitable for your goals, or to a country with lower taxation. You can exercise and take care of your health to better the chances of you living longer and with higher quality. You can be nice to people around you so that they would feel better about being alive all together. In other words – you can not be a dick and see where you end up with that. Everything else though – mostly a game of chance, in which the odds are adjustable through your behavior, the action you take, the books you read, the mindset you have, yet never be entirely controllable, therefore a waste of time to even consider a thought such as that.
It’s simple, really. Let go.
How to not screw up your life
It has come to my attention that I’ve written a book about making your life easy and passionate through adjusting your thought patterns. How to not screw up your relationships and how to enjoy your day without paying attention to adversity is one of my main subjects to write and educate you about. I’ll see you inside.