“I just don’t get it! Can we just move on and do something else? I will drop this subject next year anyway,” pleaded my 16-year old.
“You only opened the book 2-hours ago! I can’t believe you were seriously expecting to have gotten it by now!” Teenagers can be so irrational and frustrating.
“You know, some people suggest that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. While this rule may not be 100% correct, there is certainly a massive difference between 2 hours and 10,000 hours!”
“I’m dropping the subject anyway, so let’s move on to something else.”
This is not the first time I have heard this, and it certainly won’t be the last time. And not just from my teenage daughter. I hear it from a lot of people, myself included. It’s our natural state of being.
This is natural to us because we have options, a lot of options. Heck, we want these, so we are even encouraged to do more suck less. We have options in terms of what to study, careers to pursue, blisses to follow, friends to hang out with, profiles to “like”, the list goes on and on.
If you think about it, all of these choices reflect how lucky we are – we are in a position to choose. When my daughter says that “I’m dropping the subject anyway,” there is something great in having this flexibility.
Unfortunately, there is also something very bad in having this flexibility – we fail to commit. And in not committing, the choices we make today become “disposable” tomorrow. We call this by many different names – pivot, refocus, regroup, reset, refresh and whatever you choose to call it, the choice we made is all of a sudden too hard or no longer making us happy (and oh, we all deserve to be happy, of course).
So, we move on. Job, studies, partner, home, etc. Yes, sometimes moving on is the only thing we can and must do but apart from these more fundamental situations, are we too quick to move on? Did we really treat this choice with the respect it deserved? Did we really try hard, very hard? Did we give up at the first sign of trouble? Did we think discarding this choice would make our lives better, unsure on how or why, but just better?
Guilty as charged!
We are fortunate to have so many choices and we owe it to ourselves to take on many of these with gusto. Not all of them will stick and that is OK but commit. And if in doubt as to what this really means, remember the King’s words, “Begin at the beginning, and go on until you come to the end: then stop.” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.