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Teach Your Kids How To Choose A Different Thought

You see someone that others have told you is a jerk so you share a negative comment about the person with your friends.

Someone makes fun of something about you. You make up something hurtful about them and spread it on Facebook.

You look in the mirror and are disappointed with the way you look.

You look at someone who is successful and wonder why you aren’t as successful.

Choose a different thought

Thoughts go zooming through our heads. Millions of them. They come from our past. They come from what we were taught in school, from our parents and family. They come from what we hear on the news, read on the web and what our friends say. Not every thought is valuable. Not every thought serves us.

Sometimes our thoughts tell us to get even with someone. Or, sometimes our thoughts tell us to argue with others or find fault with them because they don’t agree with us or are different from us. Sometimes our thoughts tell us to blame others for something that happened to us, our family or someone we care about. Sometimes our thoughts tell us we aren’t popular, attractive, smart, creative or loveable enough.

Thoughts. Just thoughts. As they zoom through our head, we have the ability of choosing only those that serve us – those that can make us and our world better. How can we train ourselves and teach our kids to choose another thought?

See things instead from a greatness perspective

I love the word “Namaste” – it means “may the divine in me acknowledge the divine in you.” In other words, may what is best in me see and acknowledge what is best in you. What if we each had this perspective as the thoughts went racing through our heads? We could in fact choose not to allow the thoughts that put down, critique, find fault with or intimidate others. We could choose not to allow the thoughts that bully, insult or get even with others. We could choose to see what is great about us, not what is wrong with us. We could see the potential in others and in ourselves. Imagine how this would not only change our thoughts, but our lives.

So, the next time your immediate reaction is to say something critical about someone or yourself, choose a different thought. Choose one that sees potential, possibility and greatness instead of fault. Be the master of your own thinking and help your kids master their thinking, regardless what influences the world provides. Seeing faults is a choice – but so to is seeing greatness.

How much better could our world be if we would learn to choose a different thought?

How To Help Your Kids Discover Their Inner Superhero, with Bolaji O – RFL024

How To Help Your Kids Discover Their Inner Superhero – Episode Overview

Each of us has amazing abilities – super abilities – our “inner-awesome.” So remember, a superhero has exceptional UNIQUE abilities that he or she uses to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world. You have that. Your kids have that. Do we see it in ourselves? Do we see it in our kids? How can we discover it and bring it into our everyday lives?

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on what is awesome, amazing and unique in each of us. And my intention is to share ways for us to discover and live this, and to guide support and coach our kids into discovering and living their inner-awesome. Imagine the lives they would have and the world we would create.

Meet our guest Bolaji Oyejide (Bolaji O)

Bolagi OBolaji O is a 7-time best selling author, podcaster, award-winning speaker, parent extraordinaire of 2 boys and an all around amazing person. He is committed to helping all of us discover our inner superhero, and challenges us to actively live our amazing abilities. He has been on almost every network and is author of the wonderful Brave Little Heroes books, helping kids find their inner-awesome and show up big to their lives. Learn more about this “super” person at the following links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. We each have an origin story – a way to share who we are. When we share our stories with our kids, they see how to craft an origin story and to start to see what is possible for their own lives.
  2. We each have unique abilities that show up in the way we see the world. We tune in to the things we are both good at and passionate about. As our kids start to notice this in themselves, they are sharing this information with us. This is important to know as we guide, support and coach them to use what they discover and share to make great work and life decisions.
  3. Parents are not their children’s owners – they are their children’s life traveling partners – their role is to walk with their kids to help them decipher and discover their world and where their place in it can be.
  4. Use this quote by Buckminster Fuller to help your kids discover what is great in them and use it in life: “What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?” What do we know of ourselves and of our world, and how do we have the courage (think superhero) to take responsibility for doing our thing in our world?
  5. The Brave Little Heroes books share stories to help today’s kids see themselves in hero roles – that they have unique abilities that they can us to do good things in life.

Some question for parents:

  1. What are your superhero abilities – something you are great at that adds value to your world?
  2. For each of your kids, what are you starting to see as their unique or superhero abilities and how are you helping connect them to applications in today’s world?
  3. How are you sharing stories with your kids about you and about life?
  4. How are you making intentional time each day to teach your kids through stories and conversation?

Here’s the link to the article mentioned in the podcast: Bedtime Stories – How To Never Lose Their Magic

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  • Stop and Notice what is great, awesome and unique about you. How are you using this in your days?
  • Stop and Notice what is great, awesome and unique about each of your kids. How are you helping them incorporate this in their days?
  • Stop and Notice the stories you tell yourself – about you and about your life. How can you update and improve your stories?
  • Stop and Notice how you walk through life with your kids. Do you push and pull them, or walk with them as their life’s traveling partner, helping them see, decipher and understand themselves and their world?

We are each born with superhero abilities. Said another way, we each have unique and great abilities that when realized can make a difference in our world. Know yours. Help your kids know theirs. Hold them and yourself accountable to show up this way, each day, and to add value and make a difference in your world.

Suggested Resource

Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary By Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

Grit to Great - Inner Superhero ResourceIn Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval tackle a topic that is close to their hearts, one that they feel is the real secret to their own success in their careers–and in the careers of so many people they know and have met. And that is the incredible power of grit, perseverance, perspiration, determination, and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness. We are all dazzled by the notion that there are some people who get ahead, who reach the corner office because they are simply gifted, or well-connected, or both. But research shows that we far overvalue talent and intellectual ability in our culture. The fact is, so many people get ahead–even the gifted ones–because they worked incredibly hard, put in the thousands of hours of practice and extra sweat equity, and made their own luck. And Linda and Robin should know–they are two girls from the Bronx who had no special advantages or privileges and rose up through their own hard work and relentless drive to succeed to the top of their highly competitive profession.

In a book illustrated with a cornucopia of stories and the latest research on success, the authors reveal the strategies that helped them, and countless others, succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. They talk about the guts–the courage–necessary to take on tough challenges and not give up at the first sign of difficulty. They discuss the essential quality of resiliency. Everyone suffers setbacks in their careers and in life. The key, however, is to pick yourself up and bounce back. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology, they discuss why optimists do better in school, work, and on the playing field–and how to reset that optimistic set point. They talk about industriousness, the notion that Malcolm Gladwell popularized with the 10,000-hour rule in his book Outliers. Creativity theorist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes it takes a minimum of 10 years for one’s true creative potential to be realized. And the authors explore the concept of tenacity–the quality that allows us to remain focused and avoid distraction in order to get the job done–an increasingly difficult task in today’s fragmented, cluttered, high-tech, connected world.

How To Love Your Kids, Even When They Drive You Crazy

Raising kids is easily one of the toughest – and best – jobs. Few other roles can make us cry with appreciation and shriek with aggravation in the same two minutes. Parenting is like a Dickens novel – it can be the best of times, it can be the worst of times. But what if there were something we could focus on in those tougher times that remind us how to be passionate about parenting and still love our kids?

In talking with thousands of parents over the past many years, I think I can summarize their collective perspective in how to still love our kids even when they drive us crazy. Try to remember these 3 things as you look into their eyes and want to shake your head in disappointment, frustration or anger. Hopefully these will help you stay focused on the power, value and benefits of being a parent.

  1. Our kids are a work in process. No matter the age, these beings are figuring out how to be human in our world. Our process of learning is one of trial and error. We try things – some work out, some don’t. Sometimes it looks like a wonderfully behaved kid as you stop to chat with a neighbor, or a kid in meltdown mode in the cereal or cookie aisle at the grocery store (and this isn’t just when kids are little…). We learn how to be in our world based on the feedback we get. We are always learning because there are always new situations. It happens to us; it happens to us. How can seeing that your child is a work in process, help you not be disappointed when things with them aren’t perfect
  1. Our kids have amazing and unique potential that is our job to help them discover and develop it. Our kids are unique – even those in the same family. No two of us are alike – that means they each will have something unique and amazing about them. They each will be good at and love some things and not others. They will each have potential that doesn’t look like any other. Some will be great in math, others will soar in technology. Some will love animals and others will want to live in the mountains, or paint, or build a business, or give tattoos, or act. Some will want to travel and others will want to live next door. Each is different and their uniqueness is their guidepost to finding their way in today’s world of choices. Our greatest role is to help them see what is amazing about them and help them learn how to build their lives around what they do best and are most interested in. They then can soar, fly and become the greatest versions of themselves, without regard to who we want them to be. How can you remember that your role is to help your child discover, develop and live what is best in him, and to use it to find his way in today’s world?
  1. Our kids teach us as much as we teach them. Don’t see this as a one-sided relationship; our kids have so much to share back with us. Tune in to what they say, do and notice – they are great at reminding us what we forgot. As we became adults, we lost a lot of the love of life – of showing up and living full out, of appreciating the little things, of noticing the important things. We learned to fit in instead of to stand out. They can remind us of what matters in life, because our world has changed our priorities for us. They can help us return to ourselves in the way that we can help them find their way in our world. Seems a great partnership. What do you regularly learn from your kids?

When your kids are challenging, stop and notice them. Look at their potential. Look at how they are still evolving. And look at what they have to teach you. In that moment, you can shift from the worst of times to the best of times.

What an amazing role we have to help another human being discover, develop and live who they really are. With such a great mission, why would you expect it wouldn’t have any challenges? Keep your cool and remember you are helping another amazing being find their way, even when they drive you crazy.