Why do we get so hyper-focused in the things we do? Why can't we remember what is really important...the essence of all things and activities?
I'll give you two examples:
1) My son will be entering high school next year. At the parent orientation the school talked the good talk about our kids having a balanced course schedule, but it felt insincere to me. The voice in my head was shouting "liar liar pants on fire."
When thinking about school, some people are focused just on the grades and on the college and on setting a kids up for success in life and I say wait a sec...slow down. What's the purpose of school? What's the essence of that experience for yourself or your children?
It's not about how many AP courses you can jam into your schedule or about his weighted ranking. I see this thinking as a direct flight to stress and anxiety.
The essence of school is to figuring out what my son might like to, how he can contribute in this world, what might be his purpose, how to be independent, how to make tough decision, how to find out what he values, and to make mistakes that he can learn from.
Maybe it's OK not to take one more AP class, or get a bad grade, or not turn in an assignment. In the big picture, does this really matter? And why do we get so worked up about it? Do we really have to micromanage our children or anyone else for that matter?
2) My daughter was getting an assessment for softball so she could be ranked for a draft. I was very conflicted about this process. She was in 5th grade for god's sake. Anyway, while sitting there, I over heard a man who was going to be a coach say. "I don't mind coaching a team as long as I get a couple of bats and pitches." This made me so fired up. Again 3rd-5th graders we are talking about, not major league professional athletes. I would never want this guy to coach my kid. He's not understanding the essence of kids sports, he is just worried about "bats and pitches", not about my kid.
What is the essence of kids sports? It's NOT about being ranked #1; to win, win, win. It's for kids to learn to persist, to find the value in practice, to interact with their peers and learn sportsmanship within their own team and between the teams they play. It's to work hard and keep trying when you are having a bad day and things are tough and not going your way.
I wish that we would stop more in order to shift our perspective. Taking a little time, would help us to remember the essence of things, to boil down those activities that we do every day, so we can get to the core of the matter.
Maybe you can look at something that you do in your life and re-think the why of it? Maybe taking that time will give you a different perspective? Maybe we would all have a little less stress and more joy if we lived this way....JUST MAYBE....
What do you think? Can you think of any other examples of when or where these principles can be applied to your life? Or when there are other times you might forget the big picture?
Please share below so we can all learn from each other.