How to climb a mountain
Too often in life, we give up too easily. When things don’t go our way and resistance is felt, we simply drop what we’re doing and move on to something else. Telling ourselves that “I can’t do this, it’s not for me.”
But resistance is part of the process when you are learning new things.
If you always take the easy way out, you won’t learn anything new. You need to stick with your plan, at least for a while, to learn that new skill, even if it feels as if you’re not making any progress at all.
There’s no success without failure. To succeed you have to be willing to fail.
We tend to look for the easy way out. We keep on buying lottery tickets hoping for the big win. Proclaiming that “I was so close!”, when we’re one number away from the big win.
But you’re not close, you never were. If you’re building your future happiness on scoring the big win on the lottery, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Gambling companies are not charity organizations. They make huge profits for a reason.
In school, we are taught that if you complete this and that exercise you’ll get this and that grade. Kids learn for their grades and not for life. What if instead, we could relate schoolwork to the real world? What if we could make the children see the benefits of their skills? That would motivate them more to make an effort.
Most children have extracurricular activities. This is a great way for kids to learn things in a different setting apart from school. Some kids jump from one extracurricular activity to the next. Wanting to try them all. Never finding a good fit. This can be straining both on a parent’s patience and wallet.
When your child enthusiastically proclaims that she wants to try archery and you know that she has left a trail of activities behind her, you should still let her try. Maybe this one is a good fit for her. She’ll never know if you don’t let her try. Perhaps you can make a deal that she has to try something for 2-3 times and then decide whether she wants to continue. It can be difficult to judge from just one practice session.
There has to be a balance between encouraging and pushing.
Patience and persistence have to be learned and it can be difficult for a child to give things time. They don’t realize that to become better you have to practice. No one is super skilled at soccer the first time they step out onto a soccer field. Well, some might be. There are always a few outliers. But for most of us, it takes practice.
Every child is different. Some kids might need a bit of pushing to keep them motivated. But you have to listen to your child. Too much resistance leads to too much pushing, and then it’s not going to be any fun. There has to be some element of fun if you are going to stick with a new thing. There has to be something that motivates you. It cannot be simply grinding all the time. That’s not what life is about.
Sometimes the problem might just be that the child has difficulty switching activity.
If they are engaged in a computer game than the prospect of going to swim practice is not so appealing. Better to stop the game a bit beforehand. Take a little break, and then swim practice or whatever it is.
There is no quick fix. We have to teach that our children. To become good at something, you have to practice. Regardless of what it is. There has to be some pushing involved to get them to do things. To not give up too easily. The same goes for adults too. It’s way much easier to sit on the sofa and watch TV than to challenge yourself to actually learn something new.
You can set an example by having projects of your own that you want to pursue. Talk to them about things that you want to accomplish. Listen to them when they describe things that they want to do. Don’t dismiss them. Perhaps you can even start a project together, something that you’re both interested in doing.
In the evening, share your wins for the day. What have you accomplished? What have you learned? There is always something. Something that helped you grow as a person.
Share your wins with your children and listen to theirs.
Make them feel good about themselves. To look forward to yet another day of learning.
We all need someone who’ll help us persist even when things get difficult. We do tend to give up way too easily.
Anyone can climb a mountain. All it takes is practice and preparations.
If you keep at it, you’ll reach the top and finally see what’s on the other side.
What a view! Look at that!