The common saying of parents, “I want to give my kids everything I didn’t have” inspires this post. Granted, I’m not yet a parent nor have I been gifted the time to have as much experience as a lot of parents, or many people walking this earth for that matter. Nevertheless, with my generation (I am 24 years old), more so than any before us, a sense of entitlement seems rife among a large majority.
I think it’s interesting to see how many immensely successful people there are that have grown from nothing. Whether it’s sports, business or beyond; there seems to be an ingredient that only time, experience and values can teach. Some learn these values through word, the spoken discipline of their parents, some live those values by experiencing hardships, and then there are those that never get to experience those core values that drive effort, hard work, gratitude, dedication and so on.
What values am I talking about? Honestly, I don’t think there is a perfect description in a sentence which I can give you that perfectly describes what I am trying to say, as you read this, I hope you get the vibe of what I am trying to portray in terms of the values we learn from such a young age, which are influenced by our upbringing, wealth status, parents, exterior influences and situations we face. All I know is, the classic phrase named in the opening sentence of this article often leads to parents not instilling the type of environment that helped them to their particular success, wherever they found it and how they learnt to work for it.
For whatever reason, I was watching a video on Gordon Ramsay and a glimpse into his life. He is a controversial guy with an interesting personality when it comes to TV shows. However, you can’t fault his entrepreneurial spirit in the kitchen, reality TV and business. He is worth millions of dollars. However, when his family go on vacation/holiday he and his wife fly first class and they put the kids in the economy cabin. When asked why this was, he said “because I had to learn and earn everything that I have now. I grinded for my success and came from nothing. I love my kids, but they haven’t earned anything yet”. Let’s be real, these guys are still going on vacation but they don’t have it that bad. But, I thought this was profound and good to see, some may think this is harsh, and others believe he is grounding and teaching his children a valuable lesson. There’s a difference between loving your kids and trying to give them everything they want, and to love your kids and show them how to get what they desire through self-fulfillment.
Wealth can be described as many different things, usually it points to money and assets. But there are a lot of angles to see wealth, such as health, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, family, friends, social networks, mental stability, a happy childhood and the list could go on. We all know a family that has attempted to give their kids everything they want, without really teaching them the value of money, work ethic, the potential struggle, adversity etc. As much as people are trying to help their kids or loved ones, maybe they are hindering them by “trying to give them everything I didn’t have”.
We all have people that we follow or gain motivation and passion from. For me, one of those people is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a serial entrepreneur and building a large agency in the marketing space. His family is from Belarus, he was traded for wheat as a kid when times were hard in his country and his family gained citizenship in the United States. He was extremely poor as a child and even remembers tearing toilet paper squares into four so they would last longer and they could save money. This guy has one of the biggest drives I have ever seen in anybody, with more hustle and an insane amount of energy. His driving forces? He acclaims it to coming from nothing, and learning an immense amount of values from his parents who shaped him as a kind but hard working individual. It’s really interesting to look at where people come from, how values are instilled in them and what type of fire that ignites.
These are not black and white statements. Having a privileged childhood/life doesn’t mean people don’t have values; success comes from all walks of life. When I talk about success I don’t just mean a lot of money. Success to me is all about being happy. I believe happiness comes from gratitude, feeling a sense of contentment, your social networks, a sense of belonging and feeling like you have meaning in this crazy life. In terms of learning values and the way our lives shape us doesn’t come with an instruction manual. If you’re like me, I just think it’s fascinating how certain people grow up and how those values will shape the rest of their life. With that being said, I believe parents obviously have a massive influence and by giving somebody everything you might also be taking a lot away.
It’s interesting to look at your own life and see where you have came from, how we differ from each other because of the experiences we have faced and lessons we’ve learnt.
I want you to do one thing for me. I want you to think about one significant thing that has happened in your past that has taught you something valuable which sticks with you today. If the first thing that comes in to your mind is too personal, think of another. And then what I want you to do is tell that story in the comments below! This way, we can make a bunch of powerful stories and learn from different perspectives as one of the most fascinating things in life is hearing about peoples adventures in this crazy journey!
See you down there 😀