Yes, it’s true, many of the most successful artists and entrepreneurs and world leaders came from horrible circumstances. This adversity shaped and formed them, even fueled them to greatness.
Does that mean your child is somehow disadvantaged? Because you remain happily married? Because they have new shoes? Because they go to a good school? Hardly!
“It has been suggested that an unhappy childhood is necessary,” the dancer and writer Agnes De Mille wrote in her biography of Martha Graham. “Possibly. Yet many childhoods are unhappy without producing anything attractive, one almost-certain result being trouble in life.”
The reality is that successful people come from all sorts of backgrounds. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had loving parents. Churchill did not. They both reached the same heights…and though they both struggled (as we’ve written) to do it well, they each sought to provide good, stable and loving homes for their own children. Tom Brady came from a normal middle class household, while Floyd Patterson did not. Yet again, neither would have wanted to subject their child to needless adversity just to make them champions.
A happy childhood is the whole point of what we’re trying to do. Don’t second guess yourself. Their lives should be good. Just remember, as we’ve said, that good is not the same as easy!