Time will tell
I love being a dad.
I love being a father to my two children. Every day I am grateful for the blessing my wife gave when she chose to bring them in to this world.
Having children is a true blessing. I’m sure all dads reading this would agree.
I love being with my children – doing every single thing with them. I just feel I want to spend every single minute of my life with them. I truly thank my intelligent, strong, caring, loving wife for the opportunity to spend a big chunk of this phase of their lives with them.
It is truly a blessing I experience that not many dads out there have the opportunity to do so. They have learned a lot from me and I have learned many things from them already.
I love observing them, you can learn so much (I’m sure a lot of dads and mums love this too). Even in the first 2 to 3 years of their lives, I can tell how distinctly different they are to one another. They are poles apart in certain things and activities they choose to participate in.
For example, Zachary makes it very clear that he does not enjoy colouring or drawing, whereas Olivia has an obvious talent in this area. They have obvious inclinations towards certain activities. They tell us what they are interested in and we can certainly observe this through they repeated behaviour.
These are the traits that need to be developed, traits/strengths that need to be amplified to bring the best out of each child, each person. In simple terms, we need to simplify to amplify.
Time will tell.
Know YOU – build on your strengths and appreciate your uniqueness
Zachary loves solving puzzles – particularly electronic gadgets or mechanical tools. Zachary had shown a much higher level of patience in the solving of shapes and puzzles than Olivia did at the same age.
It’s just his thing.
Pulling things apart and putting it back together again. He’s always asking the question ‘why?’ and he is very strategic. Already out-thinks me on occasion and he is only three and half years old. He would certainly keep my neurons stimulated as he grows with his strategic constructive debates.
I’ve always believed that due to our short time on earth, we need to firstly identify our strengths and work towards enhancing these through focused and deliberate practise for our future and for the betterment of man-kind.
It’s better use of our 86,400 seconds that we have every day.
Essentially, you need to know You – build on your strengths and appreciate your uniqueness just like my children demonstrate from such a young age. Despite being born from the same genetic blueprint, they differ in so many ways.
Why work on your weaknesses?
From when we were kids, the school system seemed to encourage the opposite: emphasising our weaknesses and telling us that we need to ‘work on our weaknesses’. Millions of people seem to be spending a lot of time ‘working on their weaknesses’ from the cradle to their grave.
What a waste of time and life!
Explaining some of the finer points of training to Vicky during my ‘coaching conversations’ with my students.Better athletes train smarter.
Overcoming deficits or weaknesses is an essential part of the fabric of our culture, of our society, isn’t it? But why work on your weaknesses?
I mean everywhere we go, we hear stories, see movies, read books about the lotto winner or the underdog who beats one – in – hundred million odds.
It’s everywhere and that is one of the primary reasons gambling is so popular because each and every one of us have been brain-washed in to believing we have great chances of winning even though we may not have the natural ability to win.
However, every day we are bombarded with these stories and we get a deluded sense of the truth. It seems that we tend to celebrate those who triumph over their lack of natural ability much, much more than we celebrate those who capitalize on their innate talents. It certainly makes for ideal TV shows ratings and sells newspapers too.
Taking the path of most resistance
As a result of this over-inflated, deluded view of an aspect of success, we have millions of people that chase goals that are impossible. They see these, say, over-night multi-millionaires as THEIR HEROES and the epitome’ of success and so set their sights on conquering major challenges.
Unfortunately for them, this is taking the path of most resistance!
I mean in recent years we’ve all witnessed many examples of these poor souls embarrass themselves on the top reality tv shows looking for talent. How awful is this? I mean I couldn’t understand how people with no talent whatsoever are permitted to get on national tv and perform and get laughed at? It is great for TV show ratings and advertising dollars for the network but isn’t this degrading to the person?
It’s the same for certain sports or careers, it isn’t very difficult to observe that a teaching a fish how to climb a tree like a monkey will always result in disappointment. The fish will never be able to do what a monkey naturally does best and vice versa. A monkey will not be able to swim as well or as fast as a fish in the water. Each individual or animal needs to find the right environment to strive and perform at it’s best.
Know the difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking
These aspiring contestants then get asked to leave by the judges because, well, they simply suc$ed at it! Then the contestant breaks down and cries. The producers of these shows have milked this sob-story so well and I think most people have had enough of seeing these tear-jerkers.
I used to ask my wife where that poor person’s friends were? Isn’t that a role of a good friend – to tell him/her know how awful he/she is at the particular skill before getting on national tv to get humiliated.
The sad thing is that these contestants actually believe they sound ok. They actually believe that with an opportunity and working hard and getting a tutor, they would somehow miraculously be as good as their idols or as the judges. That to achieve success, it is only and all about hard work. And everyone – the whole audience and viewership seem to believe this too. Now, you could call this type of thinking ‘positive thinking’ but I think it more closer to ‘delusional thinking’.
You should know and understand the difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking. I think many in society believe and practise the latter, unfortunately.
Society does not seem to give credit to innate talent – and that applies to everything in life – in athletic ability, music ability, mechanical ability, spatial ability, emotional ability, spiritual ability etc. Hard work is important to success, yes – but its not the only important thing. Innate ability (or talent) is very important too.
A person can only perform from a platform of strength
I believe one of the most important responsibilities of parents is to observe and identify the talents and strengths that their children have. This can be done in the very early stages/years of their lives. It will save a lot of heart-ache and pain later in life – in the later teens and early twenties.
It seems that even though we change over time and personalities adapt, scientists have discovered that core personality traits are relatively stable throughout adulthood, as are our perceptions and interests. Even more interesting is that recent studies also show that a child’s observed personality at age 3 is very similar to his or her personality traits reported at age 26.
So, just being more aware as a parent and spending time with your children and really observing them would tell you a lot about their talents. This increased awareness would help give you some idea in the direction they may be more inclined to succeed in their adult lives.
Afterall, a famous management guru said once that a person can only perform from a platform of strength.
Learn to build on who you already are
Think about you, your life so far.
Are you doing a job that utilizes ALL your strengths? Are you fully utilizing your talents? Or are you doing something that your parents and/or family and friends expected you to do? I’ve seen and heard so many stories about kids entering University and realising they didn’t love Law, for example (which their parents or family expected them to do) was not what they were really good at. They then go back and do another degree or two before discovering their true strengths. Their true love.
They’re still one of the lucky ones.
Are you just doing your current job in a ‘half-hearted attempt’ – doing just enough to get through and not really ‘setting the world on fire?’ Well, are you? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Apparently, a huge percentage of the world’s population never, ever get to reach their potential because they are not doing a job or work that utilizes their strengths.
Very sad indeed.
Very sad because you only have one life and you are doing something that would not bring your closer to your full potential. Not through the fault of our own but through generations of mis-direction and philosophy partly through the education system. Everyone is brain-washed to believing that they have got to spend all their lives working on ‘their weaknesses’.
One of the keys to human development and/or self-development is building on who you already are.
Journey of self-discovery
To do this, you need to increase your awareness of yourself. You need to be who you are.
But, who are YOU?
Within this journey of self-discovery, I am positive you will find the real strengths that lie within you (if you haven’t already done so).
Identifying your talents and developing them in to real strengths and aligning yourself with the right task is vital to reaching your potential in your life. By putting most of your energy into developing your natural talents, it would seem that extraordinary room for growth exists.
Two main conditions for success
I’ve said this before that the two main conditions for success in any sort of work are:
People usually give little attention to these two very important variables because it seems it is very difficult to increase levels of both of these simply by an ACT OF WILL.
I think that is true, you cannot increase confidence by simply WILLING yourself to be. Just as much as you cannot increase your size of your muscles by sitting on your couch and willing it to grow!
This does not mean that it is impossible to change your muscular strength for example. If you lifted weights for repetition and gave your muscles the building blocks of muscle nutrition, you would increase your muscle density.
However, your ability to build muscle is limited to your genetic potential also. So, it seems that confidence and interest can be changed by taking the proper measures and having a step-by-step structured approach to developing these qualities in a certain area.
Important fact: People tend to show a greater degree of intelligence and knowledge in connection with their hobbies than in any other department of life.
You have only one life, so use your available time well.
Each to their own
Work on your strengths and pay someone else to work on areas that you are relatively weak at. As a past client of mine use to always say ( he was a board member of several publicly listed companies in Australian and NZ) “each to their own!”. His wife (who I used to train too – for almost 6 years, used to make fun of him and how bad her husband was at using a hammer or tools like that).
He used to always remind me that it was better use of my time to focus on my strengths, saying “Focus on your strengths, son. Focus on your strengths!” and “ each to their own … “.
His strength was in numbers and interpretation and story-telling of numbers. He recognised this early and worked and built on his strengths and became the success that he is today.
It is very difficult though, to find your true strengths.
Some people are lucky enough and find their purpose – ie., a cure for cancer or paint pictures. This ONE THING matters to them above all else – above comfort, wealth, respectability, safety, family ties or social obligations.
They have FOCUS.
Very few people are this fortunate and this clear cut in their goals in life, after becoming aware of their strengths very early on. Most men and women, I believe, are prepared to fit in, more or less, with the customs they find around them. To work at any job by which they can earn a reasonable living.
I’ve always asked myself that question – why is this so?
It also seems that there are probably some people who fall between these two stools I have mentioned above. These people (if they utilized and worked on their strengths) could be happier and have more growth and reach their potential in life with great certainty in a vocation that uses these traits.
However, it seems that they may fear or have the lack of self-knowledge or the courage or determination needed to break away from the life which other people expect them to lead.
Read that last sentence again: they are …. Afraid to break away from the life which other people expect them to lead. Afraid to do the work that nature designed them. I believe that maybe, in a perfect world, they would be encouraged to do such work.
Ask yourself: to which type of person do you belong?
Fear of Failure
I think the biggest FEAR that is holding people back is not FEAR OF FAILURE. No, it is really FEAR OF CRITICISM/RIDICULE from family and friends for the decision to pursue something career/vocation that they least expected you to do.
This FEAR OF NOT MEETING OTHER’S EXPECTATIONS OF YOU is what keeps people from taking a risk and believing in their own abilities/talents and working towards developing those.
It is very difficult. It has always been.
This is how it has been for the majority since the beginning of time. So, stop working on your weaknesses, and encourage your children to spend time and effort on their strengths. Strengths that you can quite easily observe while you spend time with them.
Reach for your potential through the development of your strengths. Spend more time on them, not your deficits. You’re a complex individual – every human being is. Raise your awareness of yourself and filter down to your top three to five strengths.
Simplify yourself – simplify YOU. Simplify the complex YOU.
Find out WHAT WORKS BEST.
Then, work hard at making these strengths the BEST. Make what works best for YOU, THE BEST. This is amplifying your strengths.
Have no fear.
Remember: No risk, no nothing (with positive thinking – not delusion thinking).
Until next time,