Many of the successful legends that our world has seen, like artist Pablo Piccasso, Physicist Albert Einstein and American Motivational Speaker and Writer Zig Ziglar, all emphasis the importance of creativity, learning from mistakes, never giving up and always doing our best.
At a recently conducted workshop, the moment I had entered the venue, I noticed the usual nervous smiles that little children give strangers. But what struck me was when they took out their notepads and pencils. I asked them, what were they were planning write in them. Pat came the pitiable reply, ” We have to get ready to work Ma’am”.
Hiding my wince, I assured them that my session is not a class nor a lesson. They are welcome to write in their notepads if they choose to, but that the focus would be on having fun.
Their sigh of relief and their chuckles were so endearing that I realized, that considering the current competitive trends of learning, the “carefree days of childhood” is likely to be a myth soon. In the quest for improving children, parents sometimes have a misconception that work is more beneficial than play for learning and acquiring new skills.
As parents, we definitely want the best for our child, but how about asking the child after any session what they would like to have done different or enjoyed? Where the children able to derive pleasure as much as they learnt?
Allow children to think about the satisfaction they derive from what they do or achieve.
As adults, we can lead an example by working on our strengths with purpose and planning. This is something that we can indirectly and directly encourage our child to do as well. A colleague of mine left his secure job of 24 years and immersed into making his dream of becoming a trainer come true when the monotony of his existing job became too much to ignore. Why insist that our children get into a profession they are not inclined to and have them endure a professional life they dislike for years? Let’s motivate them to become what they have a passion to become.
By keeping the focus on the quality of the outcome of any work, we can realize the purpose of our life by being better than what we were yesterday. Inculcating this value in our children could also eradicate any competition the child may feel with the world. This is furthermore heightening their possibilities of leading them to enjoy a future of harmony and happiness too.
As Abraham Maslow, the famous American Psychologist, who was best known for enlightening us with his theory of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, once said,
“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life”
This brings us to the question, “What are we competing with others for? Success?”
If happiness and doing your best in whatever you do, is what you are striving for in life, then the public concept of Competition and Success does not affect you.
The only competition in our life that truly need to exist is, when we choose to remain steadfast in the scrutiny of the quality of our performance – in our own eyes.