Dear Dr. Marissa,
My daughter is going into her senior year and the pressure of what’s next is overwhelming. I’m afraid she’s going to just give up and not go anywhere … and just “enjoy the now” which seems to be the new generational attitude. Any advice?
—A worried mom
Dear Worried (temporarily) Mom,
First of all, worry is not a paying job, and there’s actually an American Indian saying that says: “Worry is like a prayer for bad things to happen.”
So, try not to worry. As far as your daughter’s angst, I offer the following:
What if the old BS (Belief Systems) about how to be successful in life are no longer useful. What if the old formula of choose one field of study, specialize in one area, get a job where you are paid for your expertise which you may not even like anymore, stay in that job even if you hate it, retire to do nothing adds up to zero? What if you are not supposed to know exactly what you want to do in life until you’ve tried a few things? What if high school was a place to try out different things to see where there’s a match between skill and interest? What if it’s okay to change your mind and not get penalized for it? What if all careers are equally important and that the job of teachers parents and bosses is to help kids find out their unique talents gifts and abilities instead of forcing them into a box of alphabet soup? What if the millennial attitude is coming from watching the older generation walk a road that leads to an unhappy dead-end?
What if their “living in the now” attitude is a pendulum swing away from their “living for retirement” parents who are now scrambling to either keep their retirement or complain about all they missed out in life because they believed that their hard-earned money would be safe in stocks or real estate? What if there’s value to balancing between the two extremes? What if it is possible to combine careers and passion? What if discipline can co-exist in the same plane as fun? I am happy to report that we are moving into this balance. My last career day presentation emphasized “Getting a Life—not just a Job.”
Now I know you’re about to point out that I am being hypocritical with my own letters behind my name. My trying to be funny retort is that you do know what BS means.
My serious answer is to ask, “What if we are moving into a new era where we can have more joy and less stress at work because it’s possible to do more than live for the weekends? What if going to college is about expanding your ability to choose? What if there are limitless opportunities for everyone to choose from in life no matter how young you are? What if every one of the 7.3 billion people on the planet are here to hone their unique talents gifts and abilities on the planet to leave a positive imprint on earth? What if life is supposed to be a Joyride and school is just one of the many stops?”
Dr. Marissa Pei is your personal advocate from more Hope and Happiness, and Host of the 2016 Podcast of the Year Top 10 in Health Award winning show “Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” If you’d like to get your life tires balanced or your stinking’ think’in smog checked as a caller on the air and/or work with me on the beach, contact me at www.4Balance.org.