“There is no one right way, no one sure-fire path to success, and usually it is the path itself that needs to be more cherished.” – Sameer Gadhia.
We often think that in order to be successful, there is one specific formula. And we think that if we do not follow that specific recipe, our chances of getting the desired results are bleak. Well, we couldn’t be more wrong about this.
Success is not something people get by following a given set of rules which people have based on the lives of some people who made it using them. We focus only on what we want to see, and hence we do not see people who may have reached the top unconventionally, or rather in a way that does not fit into our stereotype.
“People forget that stereotypes aren’t bad because they are always untrue. Stereotypes are bad because they are not always true. If we allow ourselves to judge another based on a stereotype, we have allowed a gross generalization to replace our own thinking.”- George Takei
Some of the parents have been doing this for their kids. They have this image in their head about a successful person and what he/she does which was fed to him by society. And all they want to do is make their kids fit into it. But, did you pause for a second and actually observe whether your child is really made for it? I hope you did, but I am guessing you may not have.
Any parent would want to see their child happy and comfortable in their life. But, that does not mean that they have to follow a path laid out by someone else. They can always create their own path. When every individual is different, why should their ways be the same?
They do not have to wake up early in the morning.
This is probably one of the most popular beliefs. See, it is amazing if you can wake up early in the morning and get your work done with a fresh perspective. But, that does not imply that you cannot get work done at any given time which you feel comfortable with.
If our children do not wake up early in the morning, it is alright. But, if we force them to do it, which most of the parents do, then it is going to create unnecessary negativity between you and your child. Whatever your kids want to do, it should come from within and not because they have been nagged into doing it. This way, they can have better productivity when they are working in the right headspace. And don’t be surprised if kids automatically change their habits to rise early. So stop freaking over it and let the magic unfold.
They do not have to have time management skills.
If you have time management skills, great. But, it doesn’t mean that your child is doomed forever if they don’t have it. To do anything, you need only one thing, the willingness to do it. Rest everything can come later, or cannot.
I totally understand why we want our kids to learn it. But here is a secret. If your child wants to do something, they will find a way to do it. They will find the time and they will make sure it is getting done. We cannot let time rule us. At any point in time, we should be working because we feel like working at that moment and not because the clock told us to do so.
They can work for less time and still achieve better results.
Everybody has a different system. Some people may take more time to accomplish something, while some may take less. But, working for longer hours does not necessarily mean that you achieve better results. It completely depends on the person doing the job.
We think that if someone is doing something very quickly, they have done a shoddy job. It could also mean that it does not take them time to do something.
Most of the parents have a goal for their kids that they should study for at least two or three hours a day. Instead, they can have goals like completing two topics a day. Now, they can take how much ever time is needed for these two.
Now, a very huge disadvantage for the kids who do not take a lot of time to do anything is that they are expected to do more tasks because they can do it quickly. But, let me tell you that is not how it works. Every person has a capacity for working and we cannot exceed that.
They can be good at a few things, rather than being good at everything.
A lot of parents have this notion that there are some things that your kids simply need to excel at to be successful. But, what we keep missing is that first, they need to hone in on the skills that they already have.
It is fine if your child wants to be a jack of all trades, but it is also fine if they want to be the master of one. Being yourself matters above everything else. If we keep insisting that they learn this and that constantly, they may actually stop doing what they were doing in the first place.
You can be content with what you have.
People think that you need to have the hunger to do something. You need to have the thirst to keep doing more because you want more. ‘Never settle.’ Now, that could be true for some people. However, some people might find joy in being content and grow because they like it.
A lot of parents come to us worried that their kids have low aims, or they are satisfied with what they are doing. They do not feel the need to do more. First of all, is it not good that your child knows how to be happy in less? And second of all, hunger cannot be the only driving force for kids to do something. They could be at peace with what they have and still grow in life.
‘Practice makes a man perfect,’ not always.
This proverb does not speak for everybody. A lot of people are quick learners. They do not need to keep practicing something in order to get it right. They can produce good results without spending hours and hours doing something. Now it happens because they are wired that way.
However, a common complaint from the parents of fast learners is that they got these many marks by studying just for one hour, had they studied for an hour more they could have gotten more marks. That is not how it works! They are not working less if they are getting it done in less time.
How important is making friends?
A lot of parents freak out because their kids do not have friends. They go to great lengths to ensure that this aspect is not neglected. It is one of the ‘skills’ required if they ever dream of being successful. But, let me ask you a question? Are they losing a battle in life if they do not learn early on how to make friends?
Another important aspect which you forget as parents is that it is nice to have few good friends rather than have many not so good. Besides, the child may be using his discretion to be in good company and avoid bad. But just because we feel it is vital to make friends and the child may lose in terms of socializing, we push the child against his wishes.
Lastly, friendship is not something you can, or should, force on someone. When it happens naturally, it stays strong for a long time. When kids feel the need for a friend, they will get one. We do not have to be on their backs about it.
So, to summarize it, just embrace your child’s uniqueness. The key thing is that we let them do things in a way that they are happy with. Because when they chose to do something, there is a lot of positivity in it, which will be majorly missing should they do something that they do not agree with at all.