June 17, 2013

Why being young and moving forward is hard

Posted by James

A lot of people I have had the pleasure of talking to in the past have always said words like "you're young and can do anything." Well, for me, this is a double edged sword that brings me down for two reasons.

The first reason is really a simple and somewhat selfish reason... okay I lied, it's completely selfish. By saying that being young is the reason I can do what I do, you are basically saying that when I get older I will lose all of those abilities. To say things like that somewhat shadows a person's ability to grow and become better at what they do, and also become wiser.

I believe that people never quit growing unless they want to. If you are always looking for ways to better yourself then you will. Sometimes simply looking for the way to become a better person will let you see the way.

The second reason why I don't like hearing "you're young and can do anything." is because it puts a pressure of expectation on the person being told that. Just think for a moment if you will. If I can do anything then doesn't the average life seem a bit lesser than the "high class glamor" life that our pop culture has ingrained in society as "the best life".

In truth I would take the average life that goes on without a whole lot of attention over all the popularity and trouble that would follow. But the point is that our culture tells us that celebrities have it made. As an influential child I used to be told that I could have anything in the world, then I would see a high class mansion someone lived in and thrive for that.

Sometimes trying to impress or live up to expectations will limit you even more, but believing no one cares about how you do in life could lead to a form of self-destruction, so you have to be careful where to draw the line. You have to let them know you want them to succeed, but only in what they want to be good at. You don't want them to feel obligated to do something they don't want to do just to live up to your expectations of them.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts on the issue because I'm interested about how you feel about the phrase and the subject of over encouragement in general.