While (at least partially) positive feedback is really important to (easily) maintain a positive attitude. But did you know that “affirmations” is still a hippie keyword on Wikipedia?

I recall reading an article a while ago about how too much positive feedback distorted the identity of western youth. So much that “entitlement epidemic” is there in headlines and book titles. What’s the deal?

The deal is that parents kept telling their kids that they are great and they are special and… More along those lines. To be honest, I don’t even know what would be the point of that. It’s natural that every kid is special in the eyes of their parents, but telling the kid they’re special gives them a feeling of superiority above others. Without pretty much anything to base it on.

Watching your dad build a sodium bicarbonate volcano for your science project won’t make you better than anyone. Only makes your dad better than other dads who couldn’t even do that.

My parents used to tell me, “you can become anything, if you really wanted to.” So I became a door knocker. In retrospect I can’t not notice how important that “if” is. Especially because I’m a lazy bastard.

I don’t remember making any real efforts in school before entering university, and the fact that I was still at the top of the class made me feel superior. Not that schoolkids have all so much to aid them in measuring their social position… But seeing people way smarter than me (or anyone I’d ever met in my little countryside town) outperform my best efforts in a laugh is humbling. I don’t know if they are just really good at permanently doing their best or they are just so much better, but it made me face a choice: either work really hard and compete, or settle for less.

Without any set goal in mind, I picked the latter, and I don’t regret it. I still got a job with fun people around me and quite a different point of view. I still think that if I really wanted to, I could become a door knocker.