You heart overflowed with joy. You couldn’t hold your tears in. You felt love which you had never experienced before in your entire life. Your tiny bundle of joy just arrived!! After you brought her home, in those moments when your mind still worked despite the sleep deprivation and mind-numbing exhaustion; you started to make plans. Plans about your life with her; plans about her life; plans about how you want to raise her; where you want to raise her. Regardless of what the plan was, all your plans had one and only one theme – somehow you wanted her to be the happiest person on this planet!! And even though all you ever wanted was for her to be happy, your definition of where that happiness will come from started to shift. Your definition started to shift because as she started to get older, you came across other parents with kids, who, although just like you, wanted their kids to be happy; however, their ideas of how to achieve that happiness were very different from your own! So, you shifted your focus from listening to your heart which was screaming to allow your kid to just play and have fun but instead you started listening to your head which was very busy trying to copy others who it thought knew ‘more’ than you did! And thus, your kid’s childhood and their innocence just got lost and buried in the schedules and ABCs and numbers and the race to have a kid who knows the most at the youngest age! 

If you are someone who believes that the pathway to a highly successful and happy life is to push your kid to the get perfect grades and perfect test scores and entry into perfect colleges; your intentions although pure are highly misplaced! And your intentions are misplaced because of your belief in what creates a happy and successful life. Although different people, if asked about what creates a happy and successful life will answer differently; however, regardless of who you ask, if they have been there and already done this success thing, they will tell you that life is not just about perfect grades and test scores and getting entry into the best colleges. Life is also not about being better than others or being the best in the crowd. Life is so much more….

Life is about being the best version of your own self!! And being the best version of your own self simply means, knowing yourself and what your gifts and talents are and then focusing on them and cultivating them to create companies or publish books or create art or build robots or anything else that your heart is set on! Life is about failing and falling, getting up and trying again! Life is about loving someone and allowing yourself to be loved and getting hurt, feeling the immense pain but believing in love again! Life is about watching the sky and counting the stars and waiting to see just one more star on a cloudy night! Life is about grieving the loss of a loved one and feeling the emptiness in your heart when they are gone! Life is about allowing those tears to come out and letting yourself to feel overwhelmed and sad every once in a while! Life is about showing kindness to the ones who you think don’t deserve any! Life is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable because that’s when you give most and receive most! Life is about holding hands and giving tight hugs because you never know when it would be the last hug you share with your near and dear ones! Life is about listening to the stories of your tiny humans which although make no sense to you, are so very interesting from their point of views! Life is about saying sorry even to your kids for something that you did wrong and teaching them that we all make mistakes sometimes! Life is about forgiving the ones who have hurt you the most because forgiving gives you permission to let go of that hurt! Life is about putting your ego aside and using your heart to view your partners perspective! Life is about finding that silver lining even when nothing is going your way! Life is about LOVE and FUN and JOY!!! Life is so much more than just a successful career or a six-figure salary!! Life is about living and listening and feeling your own breath! Life is about living from your heart instead of your mind! Life is about feeling alive!!!!

Building a successful career may be important in life but be mindful that it’s only a part of life and not the entire life itself and having a successful career does not guarantee a happy and successful life! We have got the formula all wrong for how to create a successful life otherwise how can you possibly explain a generation full of anxious kids regardless of the schools and colleges they attend and depressed adults regardless of their achievements. That’s why I believe it’s time to review and renew our beliefs about happiness and where this happiness comes from and it is especially important to do it NOW because the lives of our kids are at stake! Their happiness, mental health and well-being is at stake!