Monday, May 25, 2009

From the Journal Archives: Approval, Expectations, and Creating the Life I Want

The excerpt below refers to an article on Simple Living in Stanford Magazine that described how some people went about simplifying their lives. The article was gleaned from Cecile Andrew's Web site back in 2003.

I found the entry when flipping through the pages of an old journal; funny how the words still speak to me today. The good news is, I also see definite progress.


January 14th, 2003

... this part [of the article] really caught my attention:
"For the first 20 years of my life, I was an approval junkie. I got the teacher's attention, the awards, the accolades. But when I stepped outside of the mainstream path, I had to let go of that. It was really hard."
Maybe I'm holding myself back because I want and need the accolades so much. I am an approval junkie. Only when I am confident enough in my own abilities and accept myself fully will I be able to choose my path. Only then will I be able to live my life the way I want to, as opposed to how I'm expected to.

Again from the article, Andrews talks about expectations related to graduating from Stanford:
"On the one hand, you learn to think critically, to examine the unintended consequences of your actions and policies. You learn the immense pleasure of the life of the mind. And yet, there is an expectation, sometimes not so implicit, that you graduate, secure an important, influential job with an enviable income and acquire the accoutrements of material success. Which necessarily means less time for self-reflection, community involvement and relationships."

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. . . . is right. Interesting line of questioning. Been thinking about this myself lately. Interesting to think about what it means for my boys. In the blink of an eye they will be facing these decisions, these choices. How will I respond to their inner tuggings? Will I steer them down the same path I was driven? Mmm. . .