Do What You Love, Unless Your Parents Don’t Like It

Management consultant William Fried has given a presentation entitled “The Secret of a Happy Life” to the same CA middle school for three years straight on eighth-grade career day. In it, he “counsels students to experiment with a variety of interests until they discover something they love and excel in.” This year, in response to some followup questions from the students, he acknowledged that it was possible to make lots of money as an exotic dancer — and that the bigger your bust size, the bigger the pay check.

Aparently the principal wasn’t very happy about this.

None of this really surprises me.

What really ticks me off is the last comment in the article: “one mother said she was outraged when her son announced that he was forgoing college for a field he loves: fishing.” Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to have a speaker come to the school to talk about having a happy life, you shouldn’t bitch that he encourages your kids to pursue whatever makes them happy. I have a lot of friends who have taken good jobs for good money and burned out in only a few years — because they didn’t love it.

So let me just put this plea out to all the parents out there: Don’t worry about how much money your kids will grow up to make, worry about whether or not they will be miserable.

8 Responses to “Do What You Love, Unless Your Parents Don’t Like It”

  1. Aaron Says:

    In a follow-up piece it was revealed that the kid actually said “fission”, and the mom’s okay with his newly revealed interest in nuclear physics (although still somewhat concerned about the associated pay package). Okay… I made that up. (Bet you never would have guessed.)

    In my own experience talking to kids about careers, when the kids start to glaze over you introduce the subject of money and you wake up the class. There seems to be something of a cultural predisposition in the western world to believe that highly paid jobs and professions will make you happier than lesser paid jobs and professions. The first time a member of my family told me that my career interest (at the time, archeology) was not appropriate “because there’s no money in it”, I was all of five years old.

    Thinking about it, there is money in fishing – being a fishing guide, or (for a lucky few) having a fishing show. When I was in Costa Rica last year, I met a guy who was essentially a fishing guide in Alaska, although his tours seemed to include some other activities as well. He had been in sales for a major company, and had routinely taken major clients out on fishing trips with various tour companies until he convinced his boss that it would be cheaper for their company to buy its own boat and let him lead the trips. Eventually, he bought his own boat and started his own tour operation, and he didn’t seem to be hurting for cash.

  2. Mark Says:

    jbc wrote “Don’t worry about how much money your kids will grow up to make, worry about whether or not they will be miserable.”

    Bingo! Right in one!

  3. John Callender Says:

    Actually, I didn’t write that. Hossman did. Though I’d probably agree with it.


  4. mark Says:

    Oops, my bad…sorry hossman.


  5. Sean Says:

    I remember the standardized tests I took in seventh, eighth, and ninth grade. Based on those test I should have gone into architecture. I was directed toward the mechanical drawing classes and encouraged in math. I hated math, and the mechanical drawing classes lacked any emotional connection. I liked reading, writing, figure drawing. I read comic books. I liked music.

    I had a teacher and a guidance counselor argue with me and my parents when I wanted to forego advanced 10th grade math for the standard regents level. I was “selling myself short.” Nevermind that I didn’t WANT to be in advanced math.

    Schools are evaluated based upon how many students go onto college. Guidance Counselors are evaluated upon the same criteria. The easiest way to make sure that they get into college is to get as many as possible into the advanced classes. Individual wants mean nothing when a school’s graduation rate and acceptance rate are being measured.

    Any suggestion that someone follow their love instead of the school’s best interest is going to meet a lot of resistence. That’s why my highschool brought in a motivational speaker who united everybody in a non-specific “feel the power” moment, rather than a particular “follow your dream” speech. Thankfully I was sick that day.

  6. Hoss Says:

    No worries mark. It’s JBC’s site, I just grafitti on it now and then.

  7. Jen Says:

    Well I agree. There are lots of things that my Parents don’t like what I am doing such as upbringing of my own Kids. They always criticize me in everything I do. At Least I went to College and I finished, the only last three Kid doing it, the other two kids never finished High School. They don’t like my upbringing of my Kids, just plain too bad, and now they are trying to make up for it by bringing my Kid in their House and correct for their Mistakes. LOL Good Grief. And they say I don’t do nothing at all, but sit and that is not true at all. But at least I did everything right by my Kids. Let alone do nothing at all. My Family goes out Fishing and get Fish on the Table at least there are food on the table. And my Parents critcize that, telling me to get a job, but later took it back, telling me it is a good idea. (this is no brainer). Fishing is a job! LOL I try to tell my Kids to do their best to accomplish, to make more money and not being miserable from where we stand, but do better. I was there, wasn’t I? I had couple of thoughts to make good money and that was one of them. But then again, my decisions. We got out of the hole, and back above the water, it is better than nothing.

    I tell the Parents to get over it and they did. LOL Most people would compare their Life to their Parents, which one is better? They do in fact admit they had mistakes and faults as well. Just like my Parents are doing right now, making up for their mistakes. If they tell me something that they don’t like, like my Partner said “F@#$ off”. How’s that?

    Hope that would solve it, eh?

    Wake me up when all this Crap is over. I love sleeping as matter as fact. ;)

    Cheers. > Jen~

  8. Patriot Says:

    I think it’s more important to make sure kids can take care of themselves, or in other words are able to MAKE MONEY then that their temporary hobbies/addictions are encouraged. Those need no encouragment in a normal child – but school should be about careers! Real careers. That was way outta line.

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