Category Archives: Life the Universe and Everything

We have control.

Much to-do has been made lately about the current group of 13-29ers, also known as Generation Y, or millennials. Just the same to-do has been made by every older generation about the one that follows it (and no, that quote was not spoken by Socrates, but it was written over a hundred years ago and referenced a mindset that had been around for centuries before that). I could spend paragraphs discussing the kind of world millennials are inheriting or the practical problems we’ve faced after a childhood of being told to follow our passions, but enough people have already dedicated more than enough time and bandwidth to that.

What I’d like to do is talk to you about a British radio sitcom.

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I’m not finished yet.

Photo by Philip MacKenzie.

Photo by Philip MacKenzie.

I’m sure that at some point in my life, someone must have told me I’d have to work hard to be successful. They must have done. It’s one of those things people just know. It takes ten weeks to form a habit and ten thousand hours to become a master. In order to get ahead, you have to be obsessive. Practice should be a daily routine.

Surely someone told me this. The problem is, I didn’t believe them.

I was a smart kid. Furthermore, I was blessed with certain creative talents. With a smattering of exceptions I could count on one hand, school was an easy place to be. I almost always got A’s or B’s. I starred in the spring musicals. I was in the French Honor Society and the Art Honor Society and the Advanced Choir.

You can probably see where this is going. It’s not as if the subject has never been talked about before. Hell, just now I clicked over to my Tumblr tab and was greeted by a study that shows children who are praised for their talents (rather than their efforts) are more ashamed when they fail. We feel we have value only when we succeed. And for many, success doesn’t mean being merely adequate: it means being top tier. 90th percentile at least.

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