HARRY, a Hongkong-born Chinese, is the director of his father's electronics company. Under his management, the business has prospered. ''I've got the things most people strive for: money, power, status,'' he says. ''My business is booming. How come I feel so apathetic?'' Recently he has become moody and unable to concentrate on work. Being the only son, Harry was told at the age of five that he would be the one to continue the family business. His life has been directed by his father towards this goal. From choosing his university and the course he would study, his father has made the decisions. At university in England, Harry thought of switching studies to sociology. He was scolded and threatened by his father. His mother even flew over to ''help him straighten out his confusion''. After four years of study, Harry finished his MBA and took over his father's company. Being a perfectionist and go-getter, he was able to turn a stable business into an even more profitable and successful one. After years of steady growth, the business reached a level of stability and maturity whereby Harry was able to delegate many responsibilities to trusted managers. With fewer business obligations he found he had more free time. He should have been delighted to have the chance to pursue things he had put off for years, but to his dismay he found himself feeling empty. Such feelings frighten him, because he has always viewed himself as a well-organised person, full of ideas as far as business is concerned. He is very distressed by the overwhelming sense of emptiness. Harry is experiencing the symptoms of the ''model child'' syndrome. Such a person usually is a high achiever, the good kid who always lives up to parental expectations. His life is an orderly one, with studies and career well planned by parents. Life becomes a series of clear-cut goals. Through these achievements he receives parental approval, attention and reward. In adult life, the same pattern of behaviour prevails. He continues to seek other people's approval in order to maintain a sense of self-worth and acceptance. Parental expectations are often hard to lose, becoming an inner voice that constantly reminds the the child of what course of action ''ought'' to be taken in life. We all have our own ''inner parents''. ''They'' can provide us with wisdom . . . or with endless demands. Therefore it is important to understand what kinds of messages our ''inner parents'' give us and the impact they have upon us. In Harry's case, his striving toward new goals in the business kept him going for many years. Now he realises the success he has been striving for all along is actually his father's dream. Such a revelation frightens him. For the first time he has had to think of his own direction in life and he feels lost. For years he was told to be ''someone'', but never to be himself. People in such situations need to carefully re-examine their life. They must determine who they are working for and who directs their goals: is it themselves or their ''inner parents''? They must distinguish between inner parental demands and personal choices, then seek to balance the two. It would be unrealistic to drop everything and chart a radical new course, since that would be too disruptive to one's life and family. Some compromise can be made by delegating tasks to trustworthy colleagues and giving yourself more time to pursue other interests and things which make your life meaningful. Finally, never ignore the impact of parental expectations because this pattern can easily be passed on to the next generation without realising it. The above is not an actual case. Cathy Tsang-Feign is a licensed psychotherapist, with offices at the Vital Life Centre, tel: 877-8206.