Friday, 22 July 2011

Remembering Life Lessons

Remember when you were little and you got in trouble for following along with your friends?  "But Mom, Jenny did it too!" We would protest.  Without missing a beat, Mom or Dad would always say "If Jenny jumped off a cliff, would you?"  The moral of the story is that you should not go along with something just because everyone else is doing it - think for yourself and act in your best interest.

Its a lesson we often learn very early in our lives but something happens to that lesson when we become older.  In many cases as parents, teachers, guidance councilors our message changes from "think for your self and act in your best interest" to "why aren't you doing what everyone else is doing?"  As a good parent/teacher/guidance councilor we would never say that, or would we? 

One great example is when high school graduation rolls around - thoughts automatically jump to college, university or the work place.  "What do you mean you want to take a year off? Why in the world would you want to do that? What a waste of time! No one does that!" Woah, there it is and it is not that far-fetched!  Just because "everyone" is seemingly going off to school or work does that devalue taking a gap year? Absolutely not! 

We need to remember the lessons that we learned so young and that we probably taught our own kids or students - do what is right for you not what is the status quo.

Think about this in your own lives, what expectations have you put on yourself, your family, your colleagues because it is the norm? 

How can we change our thinking and not follow or let our kids follow Jenny off that cliff?

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau's writing on the Art of Non-Conformity (

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