Slow down, stop and reflect

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I almost typed, “take the time to smell the roses”. My son Kyle is in 11th grade he gets great marks in high school and is being courted by various colleges. I am excited for him and also have some anxiety about this next “step” in his life. I can only imagine how he is feeling. I mean I am a little older than Kyle and like to think of myself as a well rounded and grounded person but Kyle is a 17 year old boy full of nerves and I am sure he is incredibly anxious. I also think the anxiety is not going to subside anymore until his tenure in the academic world is over.

I am not sure if you can tell but I really feel like education is an adventure and tool and should be fun and enlightening but modern education does not seem to be this way. I just finished reading an article in the New York Times titled “Stressed for Success”.  The article is a wonderful read and I encourage everyone to read it when they get the chance.

In the article there is a wonderful line and I will quote it here: “If you have done all these things and you are still an interesting person, congratulations, because the system has been trying to whittle you down into a bland, complaisant achievement machine.” This line came at a point in the article after describing the current academic culture in the western world.

The top students from Ivy league universities make up the leadership of the world and the last two decades of modern leadership have been single minded under developed selfish men and women.  Instead of educating academia has and is training our children to become cookie cutter pieces of a machine.


I want Kyle to be a success now doubt but I would define success not in financial or even in leadership means,  but success as being happy.


“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon


I am a big John Lennon fan. His music with and without the Beatles was incredible and this quote is one of my favorite.  If I could offer my son any advice with his academic career and it would be this. “Remember that your academic career is only a facet of who you are it should not define the whole. Enjoy life and this part of life learn about everything you can even if it doesn’t seem like it will help your career. A well rounded education will contribute far more important to your happiness than a single minded education. When you get out of college you may not be rewarded with the executive level position or you may be rewarded with that executive level position but no matter what level position you have at work you will be enlightened and that will make you happy. Enlightened people are happy and they make others happy when they are around them. Be more than just an achievement machine be a real live person and when you are that you will be really happy.  KY-Nailing-Machine images (3)




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