Life truly has become a race to nowhere.
A group of tourists were on a bus traveling through gorgeous Tuscany countryside, but an odd thing occurred. The shades on the windows were all pulled down such that no one could see what was beyond the windows. They spent the entire trip squabbling about who got to sit in the front row, who got to sit by the window, and who was to be applauded. And so they remained until journey’s end. Anthony DeMello
I worry that this metaphor describes the life of too many kids and families today. Kids are conditioned to reach for the holy grails of popularity, fitting in, being perfect and the best at everything, fame, gaining acceptance into top tier universities, and getting jobs that will make them wealthy. Being uber-busy is the new popularity. Growing up, learning social emotional skills, learning to cope with adversity, and finding yourself are being given short shrift. Thus, the race to nowhere misdirects our lives.
I encourage you to stop focusing on grades, awards, rewards, college résumés, being popular, looking good, being the best, and all the other externals and instead start concentrating on what you have decided after much reflection is most important to you, culture be damned. Start with rediscovering your love of learning, playing sports for the love of the game, and making decisions based on your internal compass.
Pull up the shades, become aware of what you are focusing on, follow healthier guideposts, and enjoy the ride.