You Have The Right Not To
Make Your Parents Proud
There are thousands of questions from young people on the Internet, who are uncertain whether they should prioritize their own needs and dreams, or do what their parents (families) want, or expect from them.
- How do I convince my parents to let me pursue my career in the fitness industry?
- How will you break the news that you want to be an artist rather than a doctor? I have really non-cooperative parents who don’t understand.
- How do you handle your parents once you're twenty years old, and they don't understand your choices in life?
- Should I follow my passion or my parents’ dream?
- How can I convince my parents that I don't want to marry, without hurting them?
- Is it selfish of me to pursue my own path in life rather than the one my parents have worked hard to provide for me?
- What can I do when my dad makes his own plans about my future but I have my own?
- Our parents are not accepting our love. What should we do?
- I am a Muslim girl and I want to leave my religion. My parents will never talk to me. Do you think I should leave?
- Is it worth telling my parents that I'm an atheist?
- I'm 13, and I want to be a magician, but my mom is completely against it. She takes my cards, and discourages me from doing magic. What should I do?
- Should I do what I want to do or what my parents want me to do?
- I don't want to go to college, but my parents want me to. What should I do?
- How do you say no to your parents?
- How do I deal with my parents expectations?
- My parents control my life, they blackmail me and I am so unhappy with my life, what should I do?
- How do I convince my parents to let me become an actor?
- How do I tell my dad that I don't want to follow in his career footsteps?
- I am 21 years old girl. I want to remain single throughout my life. My family wants me to live a married life. How do I convince them?
- If you were to choose between family and freedom (of thoughts and action), what would you choose and why?
- How do you keep your family from pressuring you into life and career decisions that you don't want to make?
- My parents threatened to disown me if I don't pick a STEM major. How do I convince them otherwise?
- How do I convince my parents to let me study to become an English teacher?
- My parents want me to be a doctor but I like programming. How can I convince them to change their mind?
Those are a few examples of the questions I answered on Quora.
I noticed a pattern. Those who ask the questions worry that by making their independent life choices they will upset their parents or whole families.
Turns out even having thoughts about being different than your parents (most of your family) seems risky. The imprint you have since childhood, the beliefs you soaked up, the taboo aura - you can be 100% sure those things will make you feel bad about having those thoughts.
And being different than your parents and other members of your family is way more dangerous. You might get rejected, disowned, kicked out. You run a great risk of being hated on. You become one of those bad people (traitors, black sheep). You as a person are a problem and a source of many problems. And that’s enough of a reason for you to feel guilty, or be ashamed of yourself.
Is this fear of being different or even discussing problematic issues that arise in families all over the world something we should accept as inevitable? Should we watch as young adults, generation after generation, yield to the family pressure, because they lack coping mechanisms (alternative narratives)?
Can’t we challenge those fears and beliefs? Why shouldn’t we do something in order to eliminate those fears and start living the lives we want?
That’s why I decided to break this taboo and talk about things almost nobody talks about.
I'm confident that this book can change young people's lives, enabling them to live their lives the way they want, not the way their parents or other members of their families want.
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The Game All Parents Play:
All Young Adults Crippled By Their Unsupportive Parents’ Behavior Need To Understand To Finally Get Ahead In Their Lives
In this book I decided to offer you some ideas why our parents (your parents, my parents, why all parents in this world) act the way the do in relation to their children and why it’s useless to want it to be any different.
We debate with our friends, vent to them, share with them our outrage, ask why our parents couldn’t act differently, and yet most of those behaviors of all the parents in this world won’t change. Why? Because that’s how we’re wired.
You get upset, become angry with them, even want to cut throats. I get it. All of it. And there is nothing bad that you feel this way about your parents. After all they pissed you off and they continue to piss you off.
They can even hurt your chances of having a peaceful life. Some of us may even need a decade’s worth of therapy (and several different specialists) after leaving their home, before we will be able to stand firm on our feet. By all means, such things can happen to us.
So, should you read this book providing that I will explain those #$@^#%#&@ (meaning your parents)?
I think we can all benefit from knowing what causes people to act certain way, especially if those people are the closest people we know, and if they’ll still be part of our lives, even when we will move out of their house.
This book consists of three parts. In part one I give you my own theory (of a human being living on earth) why all parents are so freaking protective of their offspring and why most of them freak out when their children have their own idea how to live their lives. In part two I described the concrete consequences of our parents’ biased thinking about their offspring, in other words what they do as a result of their thinking. In part three I offer you (the young adult who feels that his / her parents or family is holding him / her back) a concrete advice on how to handle your parents’ behavior (counteract) but, and it’s way more important, how to handle yourself during this difficult rocky time.
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The 44 Success Principles
by an unimportant, young looking 40 year old man who doesn’t care if his family has a reason to brag about him, and who thinks that getting a practical college degree is the least practical thing people can do
This book is a collection of 44 diary entries (blog posts) I wrote in the span of two months from September 2017 to November 2017 as a 40 year old man in the early stage of his newly discovered passion.
What makes me qualified to give people advice on success? Shouldn’t advice on success be given by people who achieved some kind of conventional success (made a lot of money, have been acknowledged by their industry, won prizes, have tens or hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers, etc.)?
To be honest with you as I’m writing those words I have none of the above. As a matter of fact most people would say that I should give advice on how to screw it all up - how to bury your chances to be the “king of the world” (have a lot of money, nice house, drive a fancy car, wear a $ 10K suit and a $10K watch, have the respect of the majority of people who assume that being a lawyer in itself is a massive success - most people dream of having such a prestigious position in the society and all that comes with it).
It’s true, I invested heavily in getting this diploma and in additional education (3,5 years of additional studies) and to most people it is unthinkable that someone can decide not to stick to it, which means you’ll not be able to take advantage of it. Let’s be honest, to most people such move means you’re a loser, not a winner. You’re crazy to waste it all like that. My mom is definitely in this group of people.
But I beg to differ. I think that people who figured themselves out and who are doing in their lives the things they love have won regardless of how many figures they make annually, what car they drive and what watch they wear.
As Gary Vaynerchuck, who is my great inspiration and whose words helped people like myself to believe in themselves, always says “How you make your money is way more important than how much you make.”
My success is that I was able to transition to a different career while most people stick to their initial career choice because they lack the mindset which would allow them to switch to something else when they already found out that it is something they do only to pay their bills.
My success is also that I was able to stick it out. Transitioning to a different career is not easy (you’ll meet a lot of naysayers - people who will tell you what is and what isn’t possible, or what you can and can’t do), and finding what you love doing is even harder (all sorts of people want you to satisfy their needs at the expense of your own and they aren’t even aware of that - they’ll tell you you’re crazy to think this way).
But I guess my biggest success is that I managed to change my thinking about a parent-child relationship and I’m no longer crippled by most beliefs which young people soak up living with their parents and interacting with other members of their families and people from the same culture who talk in clichés (repeat the same bullshit rules and behaviors which are part of the tradition - about parenting, parent-child relationship, family, being a decent or grateful child / member of a family or overall a good human being). This allowed me to believe that what I’m doing is the right thing and freed me from any feeling of guilt.
This book contains everything I’ve learned from people who did it before me and helped many people just like me change their lives and also everything I managed to figure out by myself through my daily writing practice.
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The 27 Biggest Myths About Passion
More and more young people on the brink of becoming adults have a new aspiration. Passion.
Passion is like cool new sneakers, or better, like the new iPhone - you absolutely need to have it. ASAP. Ideally before your high school peers have it, be the first in the entire class.
That’d be cool, wouldn’t it?
There is this new thing that popped up recently (everybody is talking about it - which means it is cool) and if you want to impress your high school peers that’s what you should get.
Some say that the current outpour of articles with the word ‘passion’ in them makes them wanna puke. They’re not dumb. They will not let a fad distract them. Eyes on the prize! Prize being a “practical” college degree - because that’s what their parents want, or because they’ve bought into this idea that a college degree will set them up for life.
Various career experts warn young people that they shouldn’t think about passion, or that following passion might not be the best idea / strategy for life. That nothing trumps being practical and learning a craft that is in demand. That there are no guarantees that passion will give them the life they want. That they know people who tried and failed, that there is a better way, etc.
What baffles me is how few of them (young adults and their parents and other career “experts” who want to help those young people) actually know what they’re talking about / understand what passion is.
They talk about this thing or dream about it and nobody finds it useful to ask themselves whether or not they got it right. They assume they got it right (like we do most of the time) so there is no need to ask questions. Thus we can skip this step and immediately take the next one, which means we will decide on how we will approach the thing we assume we understand well.
Meanwhile the myths about passion are plentiful and ubiquitous in our society (precisely because nobody wants to ask those questions). And nobody talks about them. I wanted to change that and wrote this book.
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#GOLD 2017. A complete collection of 2017 Instagram quotes by Lukasz Laniecki
This book is a complete collection of my 2017 instagram posts for which I created a separate category called #GOLD. Under this category I post my thoughts on passion, career, life, family, parenting, success and happiness and sporadically throw in some quote, by my favorite author, visionary, inventor, scientist, thinker, artist, explorer, game changer, entrepreneur, athlete, or … fictional character (like Kung Fu Panda for example - but of course there's someone, a human being, who puts those words in the mouths of those fictional characters, so in reality the thoughts are never by a fictional character, they’re always by a certain human being).
I published this book mainly for people who already know me quite well, especially my Instagram followers who like the things I share with them each day, and who might enjoy a book in which I gathered all those thoughts I shared in 2017, something that would allow them an easier, more convenient access to my stuff. Which doesn’t mean other people can't read it. They totally can.
If you aren’t my Instagram follower, if you don’t know any of my books, if you never stumbled upon any of my Quora answers or posts, if you never read any of my blog posts, if you don’t even know I have a blog, or Medium or Twitter account, if you never heard about me then it certainly is a big gamble and risk to spend money on my book. I just hope the risk isn’t too big. We usually don’t know something before we get to know it. Or wait, isn’t it always like that? There’s always this first time we grab for something, and it’s always a gamble so I understand the situation you might be in right now. Will I waste my money, but more importantly time on this book? you may be asking yourself. Even if people love something and recommend it to others (and they’re in they majority) I sometimes discover that the book they so enthusiastically recommended didn’t speak to me. And in reverse, when people say some book is mediocre (and they’re in they majority) I sometimes discover that I (I!) liked this book a lot and think that everyone should read it (but am the minority).
What if there are no reviews? Well, that’s the most difficult situation of all, isn’t it? Am I the first person ever who will read this book? That’s probably not something most people would enjoy. Being the first to taste a delicious-looking cake, that’s a different story. Anyway, assuming it’s not a delicious-looking cake, being a pioneer or early adopter definitely isn’t for everybody.
It’s similar to the situation of a young adult who is about to pick his / her first career (due to certain beliefs in our society it’s often the only career he / she will have). Picking the career which your parents (other family members), or other well-meaning adults recommend, or which is trendy, or which many of your high school peers also picked, or which has been indicated by the Forbes magazine as one of the top 50 best future careers, seems like a safe move. It's almost a guarantee that today and in the near future (what about a more distant future?) you will not have problems finding a job. Whereas forging your own path (doing something regardless of what others did or said) is a hell of a risk and only few people will do it (and, by the way, those are the only characters who have a chance to find their passion).
I cannot guarantee you that you will love this book. Even if you loved this introduction I cannot guarantee you that you will love the rest of this book. And even if you loved this introduction and enjoyed the first couple of dozen pages I cannot guarantee you that you will love the rest - heck, maybe you will only love pages 26, 57, 88, 109, and 156-199 and loathe or sneer at the rest of the pages. Who knows?
So I’m far from offering you any guarantee.
But you know what? It's not about having such guarantees.
You don’t need to like all my thoughts or ideas. Liking or loving all my thoughts and ideas is not the point.
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2017 in photos:
A collection of my photos from 2017 and my thoughts on photography after having spent five months in 2017 being a street photographer
One day in 2017 I decided that I will get off a streetcar two or three stops before my usual destination to take a closer look at a nearby, very unusual, church (and take some photos of it). This decision then led to my realization that I could take a walk each day after my daily writing routine (each day to a new place) with the intention of taking photos.
The next day I started off as a street photographer and for the next five months I would hit the pavement almost daily, taking approximately 12000 photos in the process.
This book consists of a small fraction of my photos from 2017 and my thoughts on photography after having spent five months in 2017 being a street photographer (plus some bonus material).
Picking the photos that would make the cut wasn’t easy. After I combed through my entire library I had more than 1000 photos. Way too many! Did it again - more than 500 were left. I knew I’d need to cut that by half (at least), but after my third attempt I was still left with approximately 400 photos and thought they all deserved to be in that book. At that point I realized that I’d need to change my approach, or else I would publish a mammoth of a photo book, and chances are I’ll be the only person in love with it.
Fortunately I managed to change my approach to the selection process twice and managed to reduce the number of photos to reasonable (hopefully) 260.
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Diary of a man
who dares to call himself an artist
2017 - my first year as an author.
This book is a collection of my diary entries from the moment I started my diary on June 23, 2017 to December 31, 2017. I started my online diary a month after I self-published my first book.
All posts are available on my blog but I thought a book might be a better format for some of my readers and that’s why I decided to self-publish this book.
Also I wanted to do it for myself. In case something goes wrong on my blog or with the platform on which it is hosted I will still be able to retrieve this content or simply reread it at some later point in my life.
So as weird as it may appear to some people who have a tendency to jump to conclusions too quickly (Why should anybody want to read this guy’s diary? He is neither a movie star nor a celebrity.) there are very concrete reasons why I wanted to gather those diary entires in one additional place and those reasons led to the release of this very book.
And should I become a big deal one day, obviously there will be an additional reason why this book will matter. But that’s something I can’t predict, so right now this is not why I release this book.
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Daily Instablog 2017
This book is a collection of posts which appeared on my Instagram in 2017. All posts which are in this book are part of a special series which I called Daily Instablog. In 2018 I changed the name to Instablog as posts in this series no longer appeared daily (I have other series on Instagram and producing fresh content for Instablog on a daily basis proved unworkable, taking into account my other responsibilities, so currently I alternate between them).
All posts which are in this book are available on my Instagram account but I thought a book might be a better format for some of my readers and that’s why I decided to self-publish this book.
Also I wanted to do it for myself. In case something goes wrong on my blog or with the platform on which it is hosted, or with Instagram itself, I will still be able to retrieve this content or simply reread it at some later point in my life.
So as weird as it may appear to some people who have a tendency to jump to conclusions too quickly (Why should anybody want to buy this book when you can read those posts on Instagram for free?) there are very concrete reasons why I wanted to gather those posts in one additional place and those reasons led to the release of this book.
The things I write they don’t need to be accurate. The purpose of those texts is to shake things up / challenge the status quo / attempt to expose our biases and comfort zones. Offer people a different perspective from the one they currently have. And how do I know what perspective people currently have? I guess. I look around and guess what is the prevalent belief in our society, and then I attack it.
In other words, my posts don't have to be perfect (neither they need to be great all the time).
It's like coming up with ideas. Sometimes you come up with an excellent idea, sometimes you come up with a poor idea. It's about the practice of coming up with ideas, not about coming up with a great idea every single time.
If I wanted to come up only with great ideas I would have to censor myself. I would have to be the creator and the judge which is a nonsense idea if we think about it. So why not put all of it out there to the public and let them decide. I also don’t aim at being consistent in my views. Consistency is not the point here. Consistency would mean that I can’t develop, can’t go back to some issue I tackled in the past and tackle it again but with a refined view. It would mean that once I shared my point of view or opinion for the first time I could not change it and people would no longer be able to learn anything new from my newer posts. That’s why I don’t care much if what I wrote on July 25 is in line with what I wrote on October 25.