We all know how challenging the modern world can be. In my book parenting is the hardest challenge of all, so I’d like to share a few skills to help bring the best out of your children.
Ironically, the first thing we tend to want to do, is teach our children how to DO stuff, but that is putting the cart before the horse. Being who you were born to be is not about the knowledge or business skills you acquire, nor is it about discipline and hard work. If you look at studies of authentically successful people, i.e. people with flourishing businesses, healthy bodies and solid, loving relationships, they all have one thing in common: they know who they are.
This might sound strange at first, because we assume that everybody knows who they are, but is that really true? How many people, including yourself, can you describe as knowing exactly who they are and what they want their lives to be like?
I’ll let you in on a secret – it is not what your children DO that counts, it is WHO they become that matters. After twenty years of InnerLifeSkills® work, we have realized that being comes before doing. How could an apple tree make apples if it thought it was an orange tree? Imagine what a tough time the apple tree would have if it spent its life trying to make oranges? Think of how many people you know who embarked on a career, and had to change it because it no longer fulfilled them?
Be very, very careful of shaping your child to suit the world you imagine he or she would be happy in. Rather spend your time exploring who your child really is, and over time, allow both of you to seek or invent a vocation that suits exactly who they are. This is no easy task - if it were, we would all have found our true calling years ago. But you have an advantage, you are awake and aware of the mistakes we made in trying to squeeze ourselves into a world we thought we had to fit into.
Surprise yourself and be curious about who your child is – ask them outright, or play a game around who they think they might really be, behind the face they show the world, and you will be amazed at the wisdom and insights they offer. Who knows? They might inspire you to be all you were born to be!