I have heard variations of Brett’s tale with increasing frequency. When I ask clients what their parents did, a large number report that their parents (often Dad due to the generation) had a job that was “just a job.”
More than a few have wondered whether they were conditioned by example to follow their Dad’s practical path at the expense of passion. Even more interesting, an increasing number of clients have said that their parents told them not to follow their example of creating an unhappy career.
Nonetheless, we get programmed by watching our parents act more than we do by listening to what they say. Parents who scream a lot tend to have kids who do so as well, even if the parents tell them that screaming is wrong. Drinking in excess is likely the most common and sad example of this lesson.
Brett realized this as we were speaking. “I tell my kids that they should find a career they love. My Dad said something similar to me but I guess I didn’t listen.”
“You watched.” I responded.
Brett nodded and gave a knowing look.