When I Grow Up I want to be Happy

We live in a society where we are so often shackled down by outdated ideals and memes, that we often adhere to without logic or question. Just because that’s the way it has always been done.

I read an article recently about a government scheme to try to start teaching ‘happiness’ in schools and it filled me with dread. Not one because it may become yet another “subject” for children master. But more-so that ultimately happiness comes from within and that it is different for all of us.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

I saw a friends little girl pop up on my timeline on a school outing dressing up as a Tudor. I wondered why over three decades later children were still learning the same curriculum as I did? I often have debates with friends with children who at just nine years old are feeling overwhelmed by exams. Placing pressure on them to pass or fail at such a young age. About why traditional educational systems are (STILL) churning out clones, reinforcing outdated views that success is measured by grading systems and how well you can perform in a classroom or written exam.

We are then propelled into artificial interviews with employers based primarily on the ‘ grade’ we might have achieved in that 3 hour exam. Nothing that measures creativity, passion, business acumen, talent, decency, humility, ability to communicate, understand and respect each other.  

For the grand finale we are then propelled into corporations with the same outdated ideals as our education systems. These ideals by default discriminate against so many of us.

We don’t all thrive in the same way, and sometimes we have to make up our own rules.

Just take 13-year-old Logan for example. His parents removed him from the traditional education system for the reasons above. Logan is remarkable (another Steve Jobs in the making!) he surmises this little journey called life and happiness so eloquently.

Why do we try to categorise our lives and conform to fit into a one-size fits all box, when we are all so wonderfully different? Why do so many of us measure our success by our education or what we do for a living?

Why do we hold our jobs at an identity level?

We are MORE than what we choose to do for a living. We are more than our education.

For me, the natural rhythm that discovering your purpose brings is almost impossible to ignore.  I learnt that by fighting against  it, only fuelled the passion further and every career decision I have made to move away from creativity, has subconsciously always lead me back to creating.

So I decided to stop fighting, to allow myself to walk in a different direction. To go against the grain and do what feels most natural. 

Wouldn’t it be great if children learned more than just academia, vital life skills. Integrity or as Logan says, how to be healthy and their own version of happy.

It certainly bears thinking about in our current climate and especially when I read statistics from Young Minds charity revealing that children in third world countries are happier than those in the west.

Like Logan in the TedX video, don’t be afraid to do what you feel is right and go against someone else’s gravity. Find your own version of happiness from within, not what society dictates you should be doing.

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