Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some Lessons We Learn from Our Grandchildren

In my last post I spoke about reaching our goals, and how time plays a role in achieving them. Our goals can often seem so out of reach as to be unattainable. Sometimes it can feel as though we are deluding ourselves in the belief that we can reach them. I write about these concepts on how to stay focused for me as much as anyone else. I am not immune to the negative self-talk we give ourselves on a daily basis. We often are unaware of the little voice inside spewing all that negativity. Listen to your inner voice. I bet you too will be shocked to discover how poorly you speak to yourself. Listen also to what you say out loud. It’s a sure indicator of what is going on inside.

This negative self-talk is the end result of years of conditioning. Someone may have suggested we are not capable, smart enough, or that something we want is unattainable. We believe it. Maybe we make a mistake and are told we are stupid, dumb, or useless. We accept what others say about us instead of knowing who we are. We should be challenging these beliefs or rejecting them altogether. We should set our feet on the path of what we know to be true about ourselves and embark on a wonderful personal journey of self-discovery.

This lesson was reinforced when I saw again the video of my grandson’s first attempt at crawling. I knew instantly its value in teaching all of us about staying focused on our goals. In the video my grandson cannot coordinate his knees. When he pulls one knee forward the other comes too, so that he looks almost like he’s hopping. Would he have cared is someone told him that this wasn’t the way to crawl? Did he say to himself “oh I’ll never be able to get it right!” Of course not! He persists. At one point he tips over and plants his face squarely into the carpet. He doesn’t cry or get deterred, but gets up, and keeps going. Three quarters of the way to his destination, he pops into a sitting position, surveys the landscape, notices the progress he’s made and rewards himself with clapping hands. Then back to his knees until the toy he’s after is in his hands.

Children teach us so much about life. They have not been poorly conditioned by the judgments of others. Their little hearts are pure, and they live deeply in the moment and concentrate on each step they need to take. They don’t worry about the wrinkle in the carpet that might catch their feet. They are single focused in perseverance. Learn from them. Keep your eye on your goal. Don’t let others tell you how to get there. If the goal is a long way off, take small incremental “baby” steps in reaching it. Don’t give up at the first wrinkle in the carpet. Stop occasionally and notice how much closer you are to reaching your destination. Give yourself applause for sticking with it. After all, even babies are capable of reaching that which they are after. I’m not sure about you, but as for me, I will keep this image in front of me to stay focused on my resolutions as I head into the New Year.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Excellent thoughts, Pat. Never listen to anyone, no matter how well-meaning, who tells you you can't achieve your goal, that somehow you simply aren't ready, able or je ne sais quoi. Babies don't, and they learn and achieve at exponential rates. So can we, so can we...