I have often wondered what are the ingredients of ‘Great Awesome Wow Parenting’.
Is it ensuring a great education for children?
is it quality time with them?
Is it to protect them from the ‘wild’ friends and ensure they cozy up with safe and focussed friends?
Is it to pamper them with whatever they want so that they do not grow with a feeling of being ‘deprived’?
Is it to make life tough for them so that they do not take anything for ‘granted’?
Oh oh! The more I thought about this, the more confused I became. I asked other parents and realised all of us are equally confused. I searched on the net and couldn’t find anything that would light up the proverbial bulb of enlightenment inside my head.
I told myself, maybe I am approaching this topic the wrong way. Instead of focussing on Input (parental responsibility), let me focus on the Output (results desired). Instead of looking at it from the perspective of a parent, let me look at it from the perspective of ‘What qualities help a person in Personal (as in healthy self-esteem), Professional (Leadership, Networking etc) and Social (Impact on others, Surrounded by enough genuine friends and loved ones) success?’
I made a list of successful people whom I personally know. I attempted to list the skills and attitudes they have that I thought has contributed significantly to their success. I spoke to common friends to discuss the list of points I had made. Anything that was vehemently disagreed, was discarded. Qualities that were common in at least 60% of the individuals made the final list. I decided, as a parent, it will be my responsibility to discuss and pass on these qualities and skills to my children.
– What is amazing is that these skills are not taught in schools.
– What is amazing is that these skills can help you to bounce back ‘big time’ from any disaster.
– What is amazing is that anyone can ‘learn’ these skills
– What is amazing is most people in the world do not really care to ‘develop’ these skills.
Do let me know your thoughts on the points covered. Do you agree? Disagree? Will be waiting for your insights with bated breath.
Wohooo! Here is that list for all my friends at ‘Wow Parenting’.
1. Use tools to increase your effectiveness: The world does not understand nor care about your efforts. They see you through the lens of your achievements. In other words, you are defined by how ‘effective’ you are. In today’s digital world, there are zillion tools that ‘help’ you to be super effective. Know those tools. Master the relevant tools. As simple as, if I drive a lot, let me master Google Maps. If I play with data a lot, let me master Microsoft Excel
2. Develop a strong Network to get things done: The bane of govts all over the world is ‘Apply, apply, no reply’. On a lighter note, the guys who could never manage to have a girlfriend said the same thing. Jokes apart, normal channels can be excruciatingly slow. They may even be unfair. A networked person can get more done with a reference or a phone call than what other people cannot manage even with months of hard work. More deals are cracked on a Golf course then in boardrooms.
3. Learn how to sell: Whatever you do in life, whether you are a doctor or a lawyer or a CA or a software engineer or a designer, if you do not know how to sell well, you will never reach the zenith of your potentials. Presentations, debates, convincing others are all ‘selling’. Great Idea + Ordinary Selling = Below par results. Great Idea + Great Selling = Revolutionary Results. Make selling your great strength. It is NOT an option.
4. Channelise your emotions: Every now and then, life will be unfair. Every now and then, you will be disgusted with yourself. Every now and then, people will painfully disappoint you. Become a master in dealing with this pain. Know how to channelise this pain into performance. Do not waste away the disasters. Make the burning points, the turning points of your life.
5. Be super genuine: You may debate this point but I see Google as very genuine. What I love about Google is that they always send you to the best source. An advertisement is always shown as an advertisement. When people see you as genuine, the benefits are 10 fold. They trust you. Isn’t the base of every meaningful relationship ’trust’? Trust is not possible without being genuine.
6. Give and you will receive: Give more to others than you expect back for yourself. Give constantly to the people in your network. The value of your network increases linearly if you get to know more people, but exponentially if the people you know get to know and help each other. Of the many things that you have to give, liberally give attention and appreciation. It will never fail you.
- Failure: Trust me, this is a more important skill than you can ever believe. Yes! We need to learn what to do when we fail. This is a skill not taught until many years after our academic education is over. But it is taught. Who teaches it? LIFE. believe me, you must learn it well or you will live scared.
- Read: Yes indeed, read. There is a treasure of knowledge, information, insights, ideas that are waiting to be discovered when you read. Reading broadens your horizons, Reading helps you to dream. Reading connects you to the entire world. Reading helps you to learn without you having to make a fool of yourself. The wisdom of ‘an entire life well lived’ is available in a few minutes to those who care to read. Reading makes you make best friends, it helps you to find mentors, it begins meaningful conversations in your head, with anyone you wish to.
- Ask yourself tough questions: We are the quality of questions that we ask ourselves. Human intellect is driven by questions. The tougher the question to yourself, the more relevant you will be. When you have the sense to ask tough questions, life will be driven by sanity. Otherwise, it will be driven by vanity.
There you are! This is my list of 9 responsibilities I have as a parent. When I am able to transfer these qualities to my children, they will do well, not only for themselves but also for the world. Right? If you agree with me, let’s begin this summer. To implement this, here are my simple suggestions…
1. Create your own numbered list with number one being the most important and number nine being the least important.
2. Do enough homework before you discuss these points with your children.
3. Do not discuss more than one point in one single discussion.
4. Give yourself one full year to educate your children with these points. In other words, before the next summer vacation starts, these points should be a part of their personality.
I assure you, in the process, you will see and experience a profound change within you too. All the best in this journey. — Naren