Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about the Tiger Mom.
I’ve only read an article or two, but I’ve heard some folks talking about the concept, mostly in the context that American parents need to stop coddling their children if we don’t want the Chinese to eat our lunch for the next century.
A Tiger Mom focuses on producing children who become “high achievers” by demanding results with little regard for the feelings of the child. From my brief review, the ends of having straight A’s justifies the means of ruling with an iron first.
In my eyes, one quote from the Tiger Mom (Amy Chua) reveals the fatal flaw inherent in trying to control the behavior of other people (especially your kids) and stressing achievement over alignment.
“The truth is, I’m no good at enjoying life,” she quoted as saying.
If your yardstick for success is the achieving of some external goals and not internal happiness, I think you’d be better served by revamping your priorities and practices. Somewhere you got off track. And in this case, even when you “win,” you lose.
Because enjoying life is the entire point of living.
The BIG LIE is that through some combination of hard work/suffering and achievement, one day the end result will be happiness. Doesn’t work that way. In my career, I’ve seen many “high achievers” who completely forgotten with how to be happy because they were raised to discount their feelings and preferences. Despite the degrees or awards on their wall, they end up feeling lost.
Here’s my upgrade for the day:
Of course, we all want to be successful in our lives. But true success begins and ends with cultivating a life of happiness. Teach this to your kids.
And better yet, do what it takes to be a living model for them to follow.