071: Do You Really HAVE to Do Anything? [Podcast]

Are you running yourself to death? The typical family with careers and kids spend most of their time running and working. They run to get their kids to school. They run to work, which is running all day. Then they run home to get their kids and take them to their endless array of sports and activities. All in the name of providing for our kids and “living the dream”.

Hurry, Hurry (Courtesy Flicker/Creative Commons – abbilder)

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The end result is exhaustion, burnout, poor eating, lack of exercise, and shallow relationships. Most parents do not even really know their kids. They are not spending time with them, they are spending their time serving them. Why? We have to, or course. We have to do it all and do it well.

As I meet with and speak to people all over the world, I see the same challenges. They are the have-tos of life, which are rarely challenged.

You have tos

  • Go to college to be successful. (or send my kids so they will be successful)
  • Get a loan to go to college.
  • Go to the best college. (define best on your terms)
  • Live in the city where I work.
  • Work from 8-5.
  • Have my kids play sports, music, etc so they will be well rounded and succeed.
  • Spend my days running my kids from one thing to another so they will excel.
  • Do what my neighbors do.
  • Do what my family expects. (Assuming you are an adult living on your own.)
  • Make more money.
  • Have a car payment.

It is comical (and scary) to see the families working like dogs to make it all happen. Recently I listened to a family with pre-college kids lecture me about what all must be done to get their son into college. He must be in sports. He must do several community activities. He must make excellent grades. He must take advanced courses. He must….. Was any of it true? No. But they sincerely believed it was true. Their son’s entire future rested on them working. Their intense planning and work made me wonder if they were preparing a boy for college or instead launching the space shuttle.

Challenge Your Assumptions 

How much time and energy do we waste on assumptions or advice of so called gurus and experts? Challenge your assumptions. Whenever we find ourselves starting a must, we should step back and ask two questions:

  1. Am I really sure?
  2. Can I think of any examples to support my assumptions?
  3. Can I think of any examples that counter my assumption?

Remember basic logic. If something is true, it is always true. Any example to the contrary disproves a statement from being fact.

For example, can you think of anyone who has been successful without college? Since you can (if not, email me and I will give you a list of self-made billionaires who did not go to college) then the statement “You must go to college to be successful.” is NOT true.

I am not really a country music fan, but cannot help to think about the song “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama. Maybe we should all take a listen and then stop and rethink what we are doing and why.

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Question: What other have-tos have you seen in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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