I'm a father of two little champions, aged 5 and 2. I love parenting, and I love being a student of my children. I mean that honestly. I've learned a lot from them, and continue to learn from them. In fact, nearly every great tip and insight about living a great life as an adult, in business and in life, my kids seem to already instinctively know.
My job as their parent (that I've come to believe) is resist the opportunity to knock this instinct out of them so they have to go through the hard task of relearning them as an adult. Here's some of the the things my kids know, that I need to remember are not just good things, but the essence of life.
Why does it take 30 minutes to walk home from the playground with my kids, when it would take 3 minutes without them? Because my kids treat experiencing the journey with the same enthusiasm as reaching the destination. I try to remember, but often get stuck in the 'destination' focus.
It's great to have goals, and we all face deadlines and pressure to get things done. But it shouldn't come at the expense of enjoying the journey. My kids find fascination in the small, seemingly insignificant parts of a journey; that's also why they enjoy the journey more than me when I'm in destination focus mode.
If my kids want something, they'll ask. If they want it bad enough, they'll keep asking, day after day. They aren't trying to be difficult, they just someone know this is how life works. You have to ask!
How many times have I thought about asking for a referral form a happy client, but let it slide? How many times have I wanted to ask for some help from a colleague, but just doubled-down and worked through it myself? My kids remind me that one of the key parts of life is knowing what you want, and asking for it!
When my kids want something, they are prepared to throw everything they have into getting it. They'll ask, but they won't stop there. If that fails, they take it to the next level; if they really want something badly, they'll do whatever it takes to get it. They don't always get it, but I watch in fascination as they give it their all, pulling out all stops to try make it happen. What a great attitude! Yet, it can so hard as the parent in those moments to appreciate it. Th temptation is to just come down on them and get angry, but it's a character trait that will serve them so well all the days of their lives if they can just keep it up. They remind me to do whatever-it-takes to get the things I'm chasing after in business and life. To give it my all, rather than play it safe.
Kids are amazing. I've had days where they have just worn me down and I can hardly walk I'm so delirious. But after I get them to bed, and have a moment to recoup, I'm just amazed at their zest and their approach of making life a magical rather than mundane experience. As their parent, I'm their teacher in many things in life, but the truth is that they are also mine.
I learn as much from them as they do from me.
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