If you’re succeeding in life and trying to create a better life for your parents, siblings or extended family, you should read this.
One of the hardest things you’ll come up against is mindset. It is what will cause you the most sorrow. Let me explain using a Nigerian example.
You believe in having electricity 24 hours a day. You have the financial means, so you can it using a combination of PHCN, Generator, Inverter and Solar Panels. The cost is significant, but you believe in using money to purchase quality of life. You’re financially prudent, but are not the type to hoard money out of fear of never having more in future.
Now, you want your mother to have the same quality of life. So, you purchase a generator for her. She complains about the money you’re spending to fuel it. You get an inverter and solar panels. She worries about the cost of maintenance, even though you faithfully send money to her every month. At some point, she stops maintaining the panels and inverter. Worse, she allows them to get damaged.
You are now faced with a reality. Not only must you fund your family’s lifestyle. They expect you to micromanage it as well. To give up your life to run theirs. To move back home so you can take care of them and suspend your future.
You pay for a family member’s exams. They expect you to fill the forms too. You pay for surgery, but they expect you to remind them to take their drugs as well. They are always calling you and needing you. But, somewhere in your heart, you know if you died, they would move on. You wonder why they never place the same demands on other siblings who live out of town.
Listen, the best gift you can give your family is education & exposure – a mindset shift – not money. Or else, you will constantly be sad about events and your family will never attain the heights you dream of. They simply can’t see what you see or understand life the way you do.
Sometimes, you’ve got to also accept the life your family members have chosen. They cannot live the life you want for them. You’ve got to stop feeling guilty about living in a mansion, while your mother insists on living in a mud hut. It’s not about you. It’s the choices your family have made. Stop worrying about the optics. Yes, it can be painful and life threatening – like when a family member is careless about taking their drugs. You should definitely do all you can. Sometimes, you may even hire a nurse. But, at some point, adults must take responsibility for their own lives.
This message is for those who have toxic relationships with their families. You know your life would have progressed much further, if you’d only said no more often. You know you need to get out from under the weight of the numerous guilt trips. You know you need to move to a place of your own. May next year not meet you in the same place.
For more of my random thoughts about life, you should get my new book, UNSCRIPTED.Accept the lives your family members have chosen. They cannot live the life you want for them. Click To Tweet At some point, adults must take responsibility for their own lives. Click To Tweet How much further would your life have progressed, if you'd only said NO more often? Click To Tweet