The link between marital statistics and education
The researchers from Pew Research Center established the tendency of people with college education to have a more successful family life: the number of married post-graduates was by 12% higher than their less educated peers. So what is the correlation between a college degree and a personal fulfillment in a family life?
Let’s brush aside the lifestyle factors that increase the chances of meeting that someone special on a campus, and focus on the type of personality it takes to go for college education. Motivated individuals with critical thinking and a strong desire to improve the quality of life for themselves and their future children usually start in life by majoring in the field of science. All those qualities are equally required to be successful in personal life, especially analytical thinking that enables one to work on problems and solve them, rather than give up and quit early on in a relationship. Besides, those who take a long way to professional success do not expect things to fall from the sky, and the absence of need for instance gratification hardwires them to become marathoners in personal life.
It also works the other way around, with years of college studies training one to find solutions, look at things from different perspectives, acquire empathy and patience needed to succeed in family life.
The next thing to point out is the age when one decides to build a family. If one is busy attending lectures and then building a professional career, the energy is put on succeeding in life and building the economical security. The age of starting a family is then naturally increased, and by then, a person is more experienced, mature, financially independent and ready to start a family for practical as well as for emotional reasons. Needless to say that couples that get together at this stage stay together longer and are better fit to face the hiccups in their future life.
The same is true for becoming a parent. Preparing mentally for sleepless nights, less free time and a new phase in life is something that all parents-to-be probably try to do throughout pregnancy, but this is quite difficult to grasp. You can visualize it but not know the actual feeling of just sleeping a few hours a night and then playing with children, feeding and giving tenderness and love while having a social life. You will soon discover that you, too, grow and learn from your baby while parenting, and your odds at being a successful learner are much better if you are an experienced student.
Personal growth and how it affects personal life choices
A healthy family starts with healthy relationships, and those can only be built between emotionally mature individuals who take responsibility for their personal growth. It can be argued that one learns from one’s own mistakes, but this article does not negate everybody’s sacred right to err and learn – or not learn – from their previous faux pas. The point is rather, as long as there is enough motivation on both sides to emerge on the other side of every conflict with lessons learnt, adjustments will be made and peace will triumph with more or less consistency.
Let us not forget that the desire to pursue a career often comes from the family background, and so does the wish to have a family of one’s own. Those who have sensible parents who have given them a successful template for how to find the right partner have an upper hand in knowing how to start and maintain a happy family. Parents who can set a good example of what qualities he or she should have and who talk about how to watch out for warning signs. The role of parents in choosing a partner is much more important than you think. Since we are little, we are programmed and learn from our own parents. We do as they do and not as they say. If our parents make mistakes, there is a great risk that we will do the same. And if we have parents who do not take this responsibility – then the risk to make the wrong choice or handle relationships in a bad way is higher.
It’s great when one had had a chance to learn from one’s family; but it does not mean that those deprived of this background are destined to keep coming up short in personal life. And this is where mindfulness steps in, because it will nurture the good seeds of inherited knowledge and makes up for the lack thereof through self-education.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness means seeing and experiencing reality as it is in the present. A training in being here and now. The method incorporates three mental attitudes that are effective tools for you who practice mindfulness:
Beginners mind – seeing with new eyes, means not being locked in by preconceived notions.
Letting go – means that we do not let our relationships be locked by things that have been and that we cannot influence.
Do not judge and accept – we do not always understand people’s motives or ways of acting towards us. Acceptance does not mean that we like or accept an action, but that we see it as a fact and relate to it, in the same way that we may not like the weather, but must relate to the fact that it is raining.
In relation to others, the mindfulness attitude “beginners mind”, to see with new eyes, is especially important. It is about meeting people without preconceived notions, the filter of values that often carries with us and which means that we do not see people for what they are in the present but based on what we “know” about them.
In many circumstances, it is difficult to appreciate and see partner in the present. With “beginners mind” you can learn to see your partner with new, curious eyes. When you can, you also get the ability to find your way back to old feelings, which means that people who practice personal development hold the key to reigniting the spark in the long-term relationship, making it stronger and immune to the detrimental toll of habit.