I love my children.
I love spending as much time as I can with each of them – Olivia and Zachary. I am very fortunate that in this phase of my life I am able to do just that.
Give them my time – my life. Just like other dads do, too.
Olivia, Zachary and I love doing many activities together. Building things using leggos is one such activity. My son teams up with me and we construct, bust down, re-build and re-construct the best castles we can dream up with the limited pieces of leggo pieces we have. Olivia is a champion builder now. Better than me already. They both are. She’s so good, that her constructions are very elaborate and above all – ‘stable’. That’s her thing – it has to be stable.
“Dad, she says, a castle is better to be stable than just pretty, aye dad?”
“Uhumm … yep, to some extent, that is true. You don’t want strong winds to blow it away now, do we? Like most important things in life, we need strong foundations. We all need to have our rocks in life.”
I try my best to encourage them to use their imagination and play ‘pretend’ games. Even though there is a limit to how many leggos they have, each time we build, they create something new. No creation is ever the same.
And when run out of leggo pieces, my daughter asks what else. I say lets pretend even more. Olivia gets so excited and so does Zachary. I start it off by saying ..
“Just pretend … that your castle has wings …. Large wings and it can fly …. Fly up in the sky and the wings are so large that the castle can take us all in it .. and …
My daughter interrupts me and then asks “But dad, castles can’t have wings, can they?”
I thought about what she said and I wanted to tell her the truth but I thought that a little un-truth, a little lie would be the best thing for her and her brother right now. I wanted them to continue their ‘make-belief’ world. Heck, if I had one wish I would want their ‘pretend world’ to not come to an end.
Let them run wild and far with their imagination. Keep dreaming. See what they come up with. Encourage them to ‘see’ what others cannot, what I can’t.
With no restraints. No rules. Their world where anything is possible. Where castles have wings … large wings. Enough to carry mum and dad and them away in to the skies. Forever.
I told her that her castle can have wings. Anything she wanted would be given to her. Any power she wanted. Anything she imagined, no matter how ridiculous it may be, would be granted. There were no rules. No one to tell her what could and could not be done. She was the boss. The creator.
Olivia stopped me again and said: “but dad, castles can’t have wings?”
I told her “why not, Olivia. Why can’t Castle’s have wings? I told her not to just ask “Why?” but also consider “Why not?” and then her story-telling of her make-belief world started flying. She imagined all sorts of things. All sorts of possibilities. I was in heaven just listening. Listening to their debates. Their possibilities.
Wow, I enjoy the storytelling my kids share with me!
She didn’t argue with my lie. Only I knew, that I lied. A lie that castles had wings.
But that lie was enough for her to continue her dreaming, her storytelling. Her ‘pretend-world’. I thought telling her a little lie was better than telling her the truth. She will eventually find out the truth but in her time. In her time.
They can find out other little small lies society tells them as they journey through their lives. But, in their time. Things like Santa Clause. Like the Tooth Fairy. Like the Easter Bunny.
These little lies (and there are many in life) are important to every child. Every person who was once a child. It encourages their imagination to run wild. It gets them to question possibilities. It gets them to not just ask “why?” but instead to also ask “why not?”.
Why not? Why not create a castle with wings? Why not travel to the moon? Why not be a better you? Why not make a more fuel-efficient car? Why not choose to eat a healthier meal option just because you respect and love yourself a little bit more today than you did yesterday? Why not go to sleep early tonight and say no to a ‘big night out”? Why not strive to be a better person from this hour forth? Why not make time to go to the gym at least twice a week? Why not take care of your beautiful self better?
Why not, not why?
Look back at your life. The way I see it, it seems that up until six years old, we get lots of encouragement. But by the time we reach our teens, we get discouragement from everyone and everything we experience in life. By the time most of us kids get to working life, young adults appear to have been drained of courage and have lost most of their enthusiasm – that sparkle that allows a person to choose to adopt positive thinking everyday.
I believe one of the reasons is that not enough of us humans are asking ourselves “why not?”. A lot of people have lost belief in striving for a better life. A better self. They have lost belief in themselves. Enthusiasm and courage has been sucked out of them.
Also, partly because they’ve stopped asking themselves “why not?”
Its not too late people. Its not too late to do something about it. Its not too late to try to lose ten or so kilos. Why not? Its never too late to start dreaming again. Its never too late to start believing in yourself again. Why not try harder? Why not keep going? I’ve seen it with the very old and the young alike. That is the only thing that gives you hope:
Believing in a dream … make it your dream … to believe in the question of telling you and asking yourself the question of “why not” …. Be your BEST you can be – for yourself and … while you’re on a roll, why not be the BEST YOU CAN BE for others too!”.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured. It may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed. Walking on the moon may never have happened. Don’t allow fear to make you quit. Never quit on life. You’ve got to win over yourself. Never settle for defeat. Never stop striving to being the best you can be, in every sense of the word.
Have you hitched your wagon to a star? Why not?
It seems that there is a philosophical movement that exists that associates drive and initiative solely with materialistic power and gain. There appears to be an ever-growing obsession focused on the accumulation of non-essential personal possessions.
This should not be confused, I think, with personal achievement and the pursuit of individual excellence. Disregarding all material gain, I believe there is a pure personal pleasure which comes from achieving the difficult or the unusual. Whatever it is that it is.
The magic rests in everyone of us. Yes, it rests in you too. The enduring power that has moved you and will move you, again, comes from inside. Yes, inside you.
Success is not just reserved for the talented. It is not in the high I.Q. Not in the gifted birth. Not in the best equipment and technology. Not even in ability.
Success in anything, I believe is hugely dependent upon drive, focus and persistence. The extra energy required to make an extra effort – to go the ‘extra mile’ – to try another approach – to ask ‘why not” do something a little bit different, a little bit smarter – to concentrate on the desired outcome – is, I believe, the secret to achievement. To win, in your unique journey through life.
The magic is this: ATTITUDE.
A wise man once said: “Its your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude in life”.
Apply. Adapt accordingly.
See how the next four decades pan out for you. Choose well.
And when you start dreaming again, you might as well dream BIG. It takes the same amount of focus!
As another wise person once said: “Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir your blood to action – instead make big plans, aim high in work and hope.”
Ask yourself – “Why not?”
Until next time,