Success is not just about the destination. Teach your child to enjoy the journey as well.
As we all know, through experience or otherwise, there is no single formula to success. People succeed at the most unlikely times, and in the most unlikely manner. Often, these unusual success stories get the most publicity, and get rich quick tales abound. As your child grows, he too will hear stories of people he knows, perhaps the parents of his friends, who made a fortune in a short time, by investing in real estate, or the stock market, or who got rich quick in their business. Children react to these stories in different ways. The last thing you want your child to do is to lead his life in the belief that he will stumble upon an inordinate stroke of luck and also strike gold like some others he has heard of.
It is important to explain to your child that most people who have succeeded with what seems to be a stroke of luck, often have gone through tremendous struggle and hard work that finally lead to what seems like overnight success. Take the case of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling. The woman who is now richer than the Queen, was struggling to make ends meet at the time she wrote the book. She sent the manuscript to publisher after publisher, and met with nothing but rejections, when finally, her hard work, dedication and perseverance paid off, and her books were finally published and released - creating history.
Like we said, there is no single formula to success - there are many ways a person can succeed. However, there are certain things your child can do, to increase his chances of success, and the most important of these is to have a goal. What does your child want out of life? Let him identify his goals step-by-step. Although everybody wants to be rich, many people's goals are extremely abstract. Studies say that the more concrete the goal, the more likely your child is to reach it. So instead of just randomly wanting a lot of money, encourage your child to give a concrete shape to his goals. Does he want a flat in Malabar Hill in Mumbai? A Mercedes? Once he's chalked that out, he can start figuring out where his interests lie, and which path he wants to take to reach his dreams. Does he want to become a doctor? A lawyer? Once he has decided that, he should figure out what he needs to do to educate himself in preparation for his career path. The sooner he figures this out, generally, the better it is, because he can then plan additional activities around his career path from a younger age itself. If he wants to become a litigator, for example, he may find that taking part in debates helps, or he may enroll in public speaking classes. Of course, there are numerous people who don't decide what they want to do until after they graduate, which is fine too. What is important is to start fixing goals, and then working towards achieving them by focusing your energies in one direction.
Teach your child to enjoy the journey, and not just fixate on the destination. He should have his goals in mind, work towards achieving them, and not let little disappointments get him down. After all, once he's got his Mercedes and flat in Malabar Hill, what next? This alone will not give him happiness, and he will find that he will need to set new goals - and at some point, he will realize that happiness lies in the journey itself.
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- The Indiaparenting Team