Are you really preparing your child for the road ahead….
“I never do easy” is my second favorite saying and training theme. Why?
Well while my favorite saying and “living” theme ‘I Love My Life’ builds the first step and fundamental core of living a successful and happy life, ‘I Never Do Easy’ is the next step and practically all you need to follow the rest of the way!
‘I love my life’ starts you off each day with the attitude and habit of being grateful and appreciative. When you start with that perspective and mindset everything that happens to you can only go up. But when you start with the opposite state (like taking things for granted, a sense of entitlement and that everything is worth little to you) not much seems to go right?
Armed with this gratitude and appreciate, ‘I never do easy’ will take it from there. You and your child’s life will significantly change when you realize that life is just a series of “choices”.
Teach your child we all make dozens of choices every day. It may not seem like it but even seemingly small choices make a big different later in life. Choices like whether you do your homework right away or just play a “few” more minutes of your favorite video game. Whether you pick up that book or turn on the TV. Whether you stay a little longer and practice shooting that basketball 12 more times. Whether you grab that apple instead of that huge cookie. Or, whether you give your mom a hard time because you would rather continuing playing with a friend instead of going to baseball practice.
‘I never do easy’ reminds you first and foremost to be aware and intentional – you have a DECISION and a CHOICE! Now sometimes the wise decision is to take the easier route. But taking the harder route is typically the better choice. Beside it develops a few important habits in your child:
It teaches them not to hold back or settle for average – leaders and the highly successful rarely take the easy way.Not only is this the only way they know how to live but that challenge drives them!Is your kids living up to the edge of their full potential?
It teaches them hard work and a strong work ethic – Hard work is just doing hard things at work and never giving up.What is your child practicing at school, sports and home?
It teaches them delayed gratification – This one is huge because in our instant gratification world kids get everything too quickly.When was the last time your child had to wait or work hard for something significant?
It teaches them powerful habits and discipline – Especially between the ages of 0-8 your child is developing the habits they will have for the rest of their lives.What habits is your young child developing”?
Okay so how do you apply this to your life and even more importantly to your child’s life?
First, just become much more aware of the choices you and your child make. Do they tend to take the easier instantly gratifying choice or the harder one?
Second, “You can’t not teach”. The best way to teach this to your child is to model it yourself. Enough said!
Third, help guide them to the right choice. Use questions then reward them for making the best choice. If you can, seek frequent opportunities for them to make hard vs easy choices (hint: we intentionally do that all the time at the dojo).
Fourth, “lather, rinse, repeat”. Now just repeat the three steps above. Repetition is the key to developing any habit.
I just have to end this article with an example of a family at our dojo. It is also a great example of how you can teach this to your child:
One of our wonderful Moms came running up to me one day wanting to show me a video on her smartphone. As she pressed play I saw her son trying to ride a two wheel bike for the very first time. At first you see him starting to roll forward cautiously and slowly. He was wobbling at first but then picked up speed and started to ride in a fairly nice straight line. Once he got going he raised his fist in the air yelling “I NEVER DO EASY!” then promptly crashed…… That was awesome! It brought a tear to my eye that he was able to relate his effort toward riding a bike to a life lesson he picked up at the dojo.
But wait… that is not the end of the story. Because of that video, that young student became my “Never do easy guy”. I would often greet him with a smile and a “Hi, I’m Sensei and I NEVER DO EASY, do you?” A few months later I was talking to his mom and she related to me that they would both talk about making hard vs easy choices. She even said that he would occasionally get on her for taking the easy choice. Pretty impressive.
Now the child becomes the teacher………..
‘Till next time!
Yours for Rock Solid (and never do easy) Kids,
P.S.- What a coincidence! I came across this powerful article right in line with our current training theme: http://growingleaders.com/blog/rebelling-low-expectations/