As a kid we were constantly looking up. We literally and figuratively looked up to our parents, teachers and other adults. We looked up at the mobiles handing over our crib trying to lull us into a peaceful state of being. We climbed the park play areas in the hopes of getting up higher and higher. Were we trying to show we weren’t afraid? Yes. Were we trying to finally see things from the perspectives of adults? A little. But more often than not we climbed the various playground apparatus because they were there and we could.
Now, fast forward to adulthood. Do we still seek to climb up higher and higher? You betcha. But should we? As us social psychologists tend to say, “it all depends”. When we were younger, we were small and tall, and high up things gave us a fun developmental challenge. As adults in a generic, general sense, the challenges are there to keep going higher and higher. But it is not always fun. Years ago, someone once told me, the higher you are the more people there are seeking to knock you down who will gladly remove all floor cushions. Ouch! Over a decade ago, a staff member admitted to me that they did a mediocre job on a particular task because they didn’t want to become the go-to person. Eek! Another individual told me that a particularly high up person in the company was too afraid to even swat a fly away from their behind without asking permission first. What?
When we were young we dared to climb higher up. We sought the heights because there was a point- that of having fun. I’m not going to be obtuse and note that if we are not having fun, we need to move on. However, we can be deliberate, directed, and determined to remember when we climbed higher to not only have fun, but also to truly grow in experience. At a recent millennials’ forum, when asked what advice he’d give his 25-year-old self, President Donald Trump said he’d tell himself to not run for President. I believe he was joking. And, of course, who would really say not to run for President knowing you would win? But, the larger point is valid. Is it always worth it? I personally think so. But to each his or her own.