Limiting your vision. Don’t do that.
When my son was a small child, he would reach for the stars. He wanted to be Spiderman, a spaceman, rugby player… in fact, he wanted to be so many things. It was always inspiring to see his next innovation as he creatively built his future from the comfort of his bedroom floor.
I think back to the days where he would wear his Spiderman suit with fake muscles, for a week at a time. We could only clean it by waiting until he fell asleep, then wash and dry it and have it back on him in time for him to wake up. That is a dedication to a cause, if you ask me. You want to be Spiderman, then live it like large.
Something has happened since then. Was it me? Was it schooling, or is it the defeatist environment in which he is growing up within?
His passion for pushing the envelope seems to have been dashed. I wonder if it is the same lesson from the school career advice teacher – you know, the one that pulls down your aspirations and tells you to aim lower. The pragmatists, the people that never entirely made it, so they suggest that you do the same.
The career advice is often, tone it down and aim for what is possible. Even though we all know the workplace is changing so fast that what you learn now will be redundant by the time he hits the job market.
That advice has worked on him.
He no longer wants to be Spiderman. He wants to pass his school exams and go to university like Peter Parker and have a good life.
Now, just to be clear, I am all for that. Education is a must, and because he lives in Scotland, where higher education is free, it is even more of a sweet deal for him. He should go to university and study hard to get a good education. Also, he needs to stay away from the science department and nuclear spiders… you never know how your body would react. Not everyone can develop their spider senses accordingly.
That said, why should you limit how you think about your future even if there is a risk to your aspirations. I think it is perfectly acceptable to aim for the stars. It is fine by me if my son wants to still be Spiderman, figuratively speaking. In fact, I want him to be Spiderman. He should take some risks and try life from different perspectives.
Risk-taking is all part of the process of growing up and discovering stuff.
The influences surrounding him now and anchoring his feet to the ground, the people limiting his vision, should back off with their vapid opinions. The people who are in his orbit should be pushing him differently. They should encourage him to explore, try, fail, and learn how to recover and move on to something else with vigour and have learned something new from each experience.
The time to take risks is when you are young, and the responsibilities are less tied to adult things, like houses and family, and more linked to seeing what works for you and what doesn’t.
“What is success? It is an inner and indescribable force, resourcefulness, power of vision; a consciousness that I am, by my mere existence, exerting pressure on the movement of life about me. It is my belief in the adaptability of life to my own ends. Fortune and success lie within ourselves. We must hold them firmly—deep within us.”
— Thomas Mann
Wake up and run at the world each day. You need to gather some momentum to take off, get some direction, and make up ground on the people who have gone before you. You should always be moving forward and accepting the highs and lows of the journey. That is life and always will be.
Embrace it through your own sharp eyes.
Explore things. Swing from role to role, job to job, experience to experience and don’t let people dampen your spirit or your ideas.
Do not limit your own vision. Please don’t do that, Son, because there will always be someone that does that for you. That is a fact of life.
Hear me out on this one point…
Son, there will always be a green goblin.