When I was in high school, every time I lost a tennis match, my father comforted me by saying, “You weren’t good enough.” That word stung me every time I heard it. But they were true.
As time passed, my father stopped coming to my games. Because I told my father that the pressure of his gaze didn’t help him. There were no expectations from his father or anything, which made me play better. In my senior year, I won the all-district championship with 11 wins and 1 loss.
As a father now, I don’t know if telling tough love without giving any advice on how to get better is the right way to go. He coached tennis in high school for three years, and my tendency was to always encourage him and turn his losses into lessons on how to do better.
On the one hand, having high expectations of our children may help them get the most out of themselves. On the other hand, high expectations combined with criticism can hurt children’s psyches.
give up expecting one’s children to be good students
Below is a snippet from the article. What happens after affirmative action ends?it actually gave me a nice feel safenot disappointed or dissatisfied.
Calvin Yang, 21, is a member of the Students’ Movement for Fair Admissions (SFFA) and a party to a lawsuit against Harvard University.
Yang’s resume was something else. He was a national swimmer and national rugby player, was in the debate club and was number one in the school’s International Baccalaureate program. He even launched his own initiative, the Canadian Youth Alliance for Climate Action, which organizes the largest climate change protest in North American history. More than 300,000 people attended, including Greta Thunberg.
In 2021, he is among the top 30 under 30s in Canada. he says. six Languages (including Icelandic and Chinese). Oh, he scored 1550 out of his 1600 on his SAT.
However, when I applied to Harvard University, it was rejected. So is Yale.
“I definitely think there are a lot of prejudices and stereotypes about the Asian American community,” Yang said in an interview.
Eventually Yang went to Berkeley, where he is now a growing junior. But he’s still angry. “I’m fighting on behalf of Asian Americans, and probably the Asian community around the world,” he said.
I don’t have to try so hard anymore
Calvin’s achievements are so high that my kids can’t get there. And even if you could be in the top 1% of all activities, you’re still likely to be rejected by the top 20 private universities.
So I immediately thought why do you go to such lengths?
For children, rather than worrying about grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities, enjoy your youth as much as possible. We hear stories of teens committing suicide because of the pressure to be a good student. That’s no good!
My kids should focus on the activities they want to do, not the activities to build their resume. Don’t sweat it out in classes you don’t care about. What’s the point of getting an “A” in organic chemistry if you’re not interested in becoming a doctor?
Accept the fact that my children will be barred from top private colleges due to the adoption of more subjective admissions criteria brings me immense peace. And I hope that as my children grow up, they will find peace in this fact as well.
Because if my kids do well academically, I am convinced there will always be public colleges like UC Berkeley that adopt more objective admission standards.
Over time, public universities that serve a wider class of students will rise in the rankings. Additionally, as we learned from Operation Varsity Blues, Legacy Admission is devalued and hard to pay to enter.
Other Ways Low Expectations Help
That’s when magic happens when no one believes you or expects anything from you! Here are some ways that lowering expectations helped me live a better life.
1) Improved health and well-being
Many of my banking colleagues wanted to accumulate wealth across generations, but I was comfortable leaving my job with much less fortune. Yes, I’m probably poorer than many of my colleagues who are 46 and still working in the bank. However, retirement at 34 improved my well-being and health.
The year I left the bank, I was plagued with all sorts of physical ailments. Within a year all ailments and gray hairs were gone. Now that I’m an adult, I’m extremely grateful that over 11 years of reducing work stress may have extended my lifespan.
The quest for more money is never ending. How many people do you know who sacrifice their time and health for more money? And when they finally reach their target net worth, they want even more.
2) Became satisfied with less income
in my podcast episode How much does an MD earn at Goldman Sachs?My guests thought I was making less money now than when I worked for Credit Suisse. I accepted her assumption, but also said I was still happy with my income because my expectations were low.
When I quit my job in 2012, I wanted to earn $1,000 a month online to cover my food and housing costs as a fake retirement. But I’m happy because I did more. Anything over $12,000 a year feels like a lottery win to me. Because I write even if I have no income. It was so much fun that he has been recording podcasts for over five years without a sponsor.
Conversely, if you expect to make $1 million a year online, you’re going to be miserable. You’ll probably need to hire a bunch of freelance writers to churn out bland articles for search engine ranking purposes. If I had, my joy in writing would be gone today.
3) I didn’t expect to have a child, so my family’s satisfaction increased.
I didn’t want kids until I was 34. But when we finally started getting serious, our biology didn’t cooperate for three years. Therefore, it felt like a miracle that I was finally able to conceive naturally and give birth to a child. Then, two and a half years later, it felt like another miracle to give birth to her second child with a natural conception.
As a stay-at-home husband, I have heard crying and complaining many times a day for more than 2,370 consecutive days. Raising a baby or toddler at home is much harder than working at a bank.
But I’m not divorced, checked out, or back to work yet. Because I am just grateful they are there. I am grateful to my children for giving me greater purpose to continue writing and documenting at Financial Samurai.
4) Low expectations revealed an unknown creative side
No one expected me to write The Financial Samurai, so I could write whatever I thought was interesting. I didn’t rely on anyone, so I wasn’t afraid to offend anyone with my opinion.
As a result, Financial Samurai features one of the most original portfolios of personal finance content on the web. This uniqueness has kept the site alive since 2009 while many others have come and gone.
Little did I know that I would write a lullaby called Cutie Baby, write an e-book on the foreign concept of retirement negotiations, and publish a one-of-a-kind best-selling traditional personal finance book. I made it. If you were to ask me if I would do such a thing in college, I would say probably not.
These creative endeavors have unlocked a new part of me and made my life more fulfilling. We all have creativity since childhood. But we often lock up and forget our creativity because we need to get a job to make money.
Lowering expectations is a great gift
Earlier, I explained that being in the top 1 percent at something is important to have a better life. Learning something gives you great satisfaction. But the constant pressure to be the best at something is also exhausting.
By lowering your expectations, you will be less afraid to try. When you stop being afraid of ridicule, you may end up doing something far beyond your expectations.
Rather than buying life insurance as an economic means of reducing stress and anxiety, lowering expectations may be the number one priority. I am truly amazed at how much better I feel after learning about the accomplishments of a failed applicant at Harvard and his UNC.
Of course, I will encourage my children to do their best in school. But I no longer expect them to get into better colleges than I do. Instead, I hope they have a fulfilling childhood and grow up to be good people.
Reader Questions and Suggestions
Have you ever experienced the joy of having low expectations? How has low expectations of you or your children helped you? Would you be upset if you didn’t get into a top university despite your activity? The Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action on June 29, 2023.
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